off to their transports. On anchoring, we received two messages from the army authorities, stating that the enemy were massing large forces on the right and front of our troops, and that a momentary attack was expected. As we had taken up our position after dark, and had, therefore, been unable to get the bearing and distance of our own troops, we remained at the guns all night without firing, waiting for the attack to commence, that we might know where to aim; but no attack was made, and no sign of an enemy seen from this vessel. At daylight of the twenty-seventh, our three boats were despatched to the beach with provisions, and with the means prepared for sending them through the surf to the troops on shore; but the provisions were declined and returned, and the boats remained until noon taking the troops off to their vessels. At one P. M., when the last man had been re-embarked, and the last transport was under way and standing out, we also got under way and anchored with the fleet in the offing, without having seen a single rebel soldier, although another message had been received at 10:30 A. M. that the enemy were massing for an attack. The officers and men of this vessel behaved admirably throughout the whole four days, and performed their duties at the guns and elsewhere with most commendable coolness and precision, more particularly in view of the short time (only ten days), that they had been on board and under drill; but, where all behaved so well, it would be invidious to particularize any one. Respectfully,
Report of Lieut.-Com. T. C. Harris.
General Order, No. 75, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part this vessel took in the attack on Fort Fisher, New Inlet, N. C., on the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth December, 1864: My position on the twenty-fourth was to the northward and eastward of Fort Fisher, distant about two thousand yards, and was doing good execution, when, at three P. M., the one-hundred-pounder rifle burst (having been fired, since the vessel has been in commission, but nineteen times), mortally wounding the officer commanding the division, the captain of the gun, and slightly wounding four of the crew. The vessel being badly shattered, not knowing the extent of the damage, and having lost what was designed to be the most effective gun, I hauled out of fire. Having obtained additional medical assistance from the Fort Jackson, I, at 4:30 P. M., again stood in and opened fire with my only remaining effective guns — the thirty-pounder rifle and nine-inch gun. On the twenty-fifth I was assigned the duty of assisting to disembark the troops and cover the landing. Owing to the accident just mentioned, and my non-participation in the attack of the twenty-fifth, I am prevented from giving any decided opinion as to the injury done to the fort as a defensive work. I cannot, however, refrain from giving my testimony as to the accurate and rapid fire of the fleet; no better confirmation could be required that the navy did their work well, than the fact that the enemy, protected as they were by formidable works, could only make a very feeble reply. At two o'clock P. M., on the twenty-fifth, a portion of the troops were landed amid deafening and encouraging cheers from the men-of-war, and from the troops still on board the transports; cheers which were echoed by the fleet, by a fire that elicited but a feeble response from the fort. The landing of the troops was rapid when fairly commenced, and everything seemed to betoken that the army would soon have possession of the enemy's works; when, to the surprise and mortification of all, General Butler stopped the further disembarkation of the troops, and gave orders to re-embark those already on shore. I congratulate you, sir, upon the brilliant share the navy took in the attack of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth; the work was well done. Had the army performed their part, the Federal flag would now be flying over the ramparts of Fort Fisher--a fitting Christmas present to be side and side with that of the glorious and gallant Sherman. I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Additional report of rear-admiral Porter.
North Atlantic Squadron, U. S. Flag-ship Malvern, off New Inlet, December 27, 1864.sir — My despatch of yesterday will give you an account of our operations, but will scarcely give you an idea of my disappointment at the conduct of the army authorities in not attempting to take possession of the forts which had been so completely silenced by our guns; they were so blown up, burst up, and torn up, that the people inside had no intention of fighting any longer. Had the army made a show of surrounding it, it would have been ours; but nothing of the kind was done. The men landed, reconnoitred, and hearing that the enemy were massing troops somewhere, the order was given to re-embark. They went away as soon as the majority of the troops were on the transports, and it coming on to blow rather fresh, about seven hundred were left on shore. They have been there ever since, without food or water, having lauded with only twenty-four hours rations. I