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[613] Lamb, commanding Fort Fisher in the action of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth:

On receiving the information at one P. M. on the twenty-fourth that the fleet was moving in to take position, I at once ordered a steamer, and reporting to the headquarters, proceeded to the point of attack, reaching Confederate Point just before the close of the first day's bombardment, which lasted four hours and a half. That of the second day commenced at twenty minutes past ten A. M., and continued, with no intermission or apparent slackening, with great fury, from over fifty ships till dark. During the day the enemy landed a large force, and at half-past 4 advanced a line of skirmishers on the left flank of the sand-curtain, the fleet at the same time making a concentrated and tremendous enfilading fire upon the curtain.

The garrison, however, at the proper moment, when the fire slackened to allow the approach of the enemy's land force, drove them off with grape and musketry; at dark the enemy withdrew. A heavy storm set in, and the garrison were much exposed, as they were under arms all night. At eight A. M., twenty-sixth, a reported advance in boats was opened on with grape and shell. The garrison remained steadily awaiting a renewal of the assault or bombardment until Tuesday morning, when they were relieved by the supports of Major-General Hoke and the embarkation of the enemy.

Colonel Lamb's report, herewith, gives all the details of the action. In an accompanying paper I will give you an account in detail of all matters which fell under my own observation during the action and the three succeeding days, which I beg you will cause to be forwarded for the information of the War Department.

As soon as other business will permit, a report in detail of the construction of the works, capacity of resistance, effect of fire, movements of the enemy, improvements suggested, will be made out and forwarded for the information of the engineer department.

In this it only remains for me to express my grateful sense of the gallantry, endurance, and skill of the garrison and its accomplished commander.

To the latter I have already paid a just tribute of praise, not for this action only, but for his whole course at Fort Fisher, of which this action and its result is but the fruit. His report of the gallantry of individuals I fully confirm from my own observation.

I wish to mention Captain Mann, Lieutenant Latham, Lieutenant Hunter, of the Thirty-sixth; Lieutenant Rankin of the first battalion; Captain Adams of the light artillery, as very active and efficient.

To Colonel Tansill of my staff we owe many thanks. To his skilful judgment and great experience the defence of the land front was committed at the critical moment of assault. Of Major Riley, with his battery of the Tenth Carolina, who served the guns of the land front during the entire action, I have to say he has added another name to the long list of fields on which he has been conspicuous for indomitable pluck and consummate skill. Major Still, chief of my staff, and Major Strong, aid-de-camp, here, as always, actively aided me throughout. The gallant bearing and active labors of Major Saunders, Chief of Artillery to General Herbert, in very exposed positions, attracted my special attention.

I present my acknowledgments to Flag Officer Pinckney, Confederate States navy, who was present during the action, for the welcome and efficient aid sent to Colonel Lamb, the detachment under Lieutenant Roby, which manned the two Brook guns, and the company of marines, under Captain Van Benthuysen, which reinforced the garrison. Lieutenant Chapman, Confederate States navy, commanding battery Buchanan, by his skilful gunnery saved us on our right from a movement of the enemy, which, unless checked, might have resulted in a successful passage.

The navy detachment at the guns, under very trying circumstances, did good work.

No commendations of mine can be too much for the coolness, discipline and skill displayed by officers and men. Their names have not all been furnished to me, but Lieutenants Roby, Doing, Armstrong, and Berrien attracted special attention throughout.

To Passed Midshipman Carey I wish to give personal thanks. Though wounded, he reported after the bursting of his gun, to repel the threatened assault, and actively assisted Colonel Tansill on the land front.

Above all, and before all, we shall be grateful, and I trust all are, for the favor of Almighty God, under and by which a signal deliverance has been achieved.

Very respectfully,

W. H. C. Whiting, Major-General. Lieutenant-Colonel A. Anderson, A. A. and I. G., Headquarters Department of N. C.
P. S.--I wish it to be understood that in no sense did I assume the command of Colonel Lamb. I was a witness simply, confining my action to observation and advice, and to our communications, and it is as a witness that I report.

W. H. C. Whiting, Major-General.

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