answering signals, and in his spare moments used the twelve-pounder howitzer on the hurricane-deck with effect. Thanks to the officers of the powder division, Acting Ensign Burnham, Gunner Waugh, and Sailmaker Holbrook, the ammunition was promptly supplied throughout the engagement. The engines, under the control of Chief-Engineer Johnson and his able assistants, were at all times ready for duty. Boatswain Z. Whitmarsh and Carpenter J. E. Miller, stationed in the master's division, not only performed their own duties with intelligence, but gave valuable aid whenever they could. The subordinate officers of the divisions, the captains of the guns and their spirited crews, have my thanks for their labors those two days. In short, I have every reason to believe that in action this ship will always be found efficient wherever she may be placed. If no more satisfactory results were obtained by the fleet from the operations of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth, we must look to the army for the cause. The navy seems to have sustained itself. I forward herewith the report of injuries to the hull and rigging, as also Gunner's report of expenditure of ammunition. The reports of the commanding officers in this division will be forwarded as soon as received. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Report of Comm. William Radford.
United States steamer New Ironsides, Anchored at sea, Beaufort bearing N. N. W., Distant about five miles from Beaufort, December 31, 1864.sir — I have the honor to report that, in obedience to your orders, I took position under the guns of Fort Fisher, from thirteen to fifteen hundred yards distant, or as near as the depth of water would permit, the monitors Canonicus, Monadnock, and Mahopac following the new Ironsides in. As soon as I anchored I opened my starboard battery, and continued a well-directed fire for some five (5) hours. Night coming on, I hauled off, in obedience to orders. On the morning of the twenty-fifth the iron-clad division again led in under the guns of Fort Fisher and took the position we occupied the day previous. The Saugus, having arrived the night previous, took her station, and this division, in connection with the others, drove the men from the guns in the fort, they only firing one or two guns, and those at long intervals. All the monitors were handled and fought well. Lieutenant Commander Belknap took the inshore berth, and is reported to have dismounted one or more guns in the fort. Judging from the immense number of shells which struck the fort, it must have been considerably injured. Several guns were reported to have been dismounted, two explosions took place, and three tires. The face of the fort was very much ploughed up by the shells from the fleet. If the fort was uninjured (as a defensive work) no artillery known to modern warfare can do it. My impression is, that any considerable number of troops could have stormed and taken the fort immediately after the second day's bombardment, with but little loss. All the officers and men belonging to the New Ironsides served their guns and country well; and I am greatly indebted to Lieutenant Commander Phythian, the Executive Officer, for his energy and ability in getting the crew and ship in such good fighting order. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Report of Captain William R. Taylor.
General Order, No. 75, and I rise from my sick-bed to give it an instant reply. The part that this ship took in the actions of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth instant was as follows: On each day she took the position assigned to her in your plan of battle, and kept up a constant fire upon Fort Fisher from the moment of anchoring until ordered to withdraw. On the twenty-fourth, after having been engaged about an hour, she moved from her first anchorage, in company of several other ships, by your order, to a position nearer to the fort, thus rendering her fire more effective. During the two days she fired six hundred and eighty-one (681) shells, all but seventeen (17) of which were delivered by seven (7) guns. After obtaining the range, the firing appeared to me like target-practice. The falling of the shells of the fleet was so incessant that the enemy was frequently unable to return our fire for long intervals. Several conflagrations occurred in the fort, and I saw one explosion. It was my impression that we had done much injury to the works, as it is impossible for me to conceive that such a weight of fire, so long continued, and falling so accurately, could have left them “substantially uninjured.” I was very much surprised and disappointed on learning that the troops had re-embarked. I saw no attack by them which looked like an earnest one, and, for a time, I entertained a hope that the fort had proved an easy capture, from the feebleness of the musketry firing, so long as we remained within sight and hearing of it. I am sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Report of Captain D. B. Ridgely,
Shenandoah in the bombardment of Fort Fisher and the batteries at New Inlet on the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth instant. The Shenandoah was signalled, when in line of battle, to come within hail of the Admiral, and was ordered by him to take a position near the Ironsides and open on the batteries of Fort Fisher. The position was immediately taken, and this ship commenced firing at Fort Fisher with two rifles and two eleven-inch guns, the shells falling inside of Fort Fisher, apparently with good effect. At two P. M. a large fire broke out within the fort. At ten minutes past three the flag of the fort was shot away by the fleet. At 3:50 P. M. was ordered by the Admiral to go closer in. We steamed in and anchored, head and stern, close to the Ironsides and Monadnock. We fired from the new position with deliberation and good effect. At ten minutes past five P. M. signal was made to retire from action, when this ship withdrew. The fire from Fort Fisher during the bombardment this day was very slack and feeble. A few shots fell near the monitors and a few went over us. The conflagration in the fort seemed to be of considerable extent, and continued until after nightfall. The shells of the fleet were exploding on the parapet and inside of the fort so rapidly that it was difficult to make out what guns they were using. One shot carried away our stern ladder during the bombardment of this day. On the morning of the twenty-fifth instant got under way with the fleet in line of battle. At two P. M. the Admiral signalled to the Shenandoah to await further orders. Twenty minutes afterward we were ordered to take position ahead of the Juniata. We anchored a ship's length ahead of the Juniata, and three ship's lengths outside of a wreck on the bar, and opened deliberate deliberately on a water battery, to the west of Fort Fisher, of four guns. We succeeded in silencing three of the guns, which were not used again during the engagement. To the westward of this battery was another, of two guns, that seemed to be casemated. They fired very slowly, but in good line. The shells from one of them fell a few yards short of us, and the others just over us. The firing from the guns on the Mound was very slow, and with so much elevation that they went over the fleet. We succeeded in exploding a one-hundred-and-fifty-pounder rifle-shell near the top of the Mound. At thirty-five minntes past four P. M. was ordered to withdraw and stand outside of the Minnesota. At forty-five minutes past five P. M. a large fire broke out just in the rear of the batteries, which continued until after night. Between Fort Fisher and the Mound batteries we could discern two guns dismounted by the fire of the fleet. After the second day's bombardment I could see nothing more for the navy to do than to await the assault by the land forces, which did not take place as I expected. It affords me much gratification to speak of the cool bearing of Lieutenant S. W. Nichols, the Executive Officer, and other officers, and the crew of this ship, during the two days bombardment. I enclose a memorandum of the expenditure of ammunition on the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth instant. I am, very respectfully, &c.,
Report of Captain James Alden.
General Order, No. 75, which not only calls upon commanding officers to give you a report of the part they took in the action of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth instant, but also their impressions as to the damage done to the enemy's works, the effect of our firing, and the defensibility of the fort after we had finished the bombardment. On the first day, the twenty-fourth, this ship was in line of attack, and opened fire on Fort Fisher at ten minutes to one P. M., being then within good “ten-second” range. The fire was kept up, with occasional intermissions for the men to rest, till fifteen minutes past five (more than four hours), when darkness intervened, and the signal was made to retire. The enemy's fire, during the whole of that time, was much less than that of one of our large ships; an occasional shot was fired from Fort Fisher; a very feeble and desultory reply to our fire was kept up by the forts between the main work and the Mound battery, which latter was heard from but five or six times during the whole afternoon. In a word, I am satisfied, from past experience, that if this ship, or any one of the larger ones, could have gotten near enough, say within two or three hundred yards, she would not only have silenced their batteries fully and entirely, but would have driven every rebel from the point. On the second day, the twenty-fifth, this ship was sent to silence some of the enemy's earth-works, which were contiguous to the place fixed upon for the disembarking of the troops, to shell the woods, and to cover their landing. The first troops landed at about two P. M.: sent all our boats to assist. At four o'clock, just two hours after the landing commenced, the General commanding came alongside the ship and said, “It has become necessary to re-embark the troops; will you send your boats to assist?” You can judge of my surprise at the turn affairs