On the 25th the transports generally had arrived, and General Weitzel
, went on board of the flag-ship ‘to arrange the programme for the day. It was decided that the fleet should attack the forts again, while the army landed and assaulted them, if possible, under our heavy fire.’1
Seventeen gunboats, under command of Captain O. S. Glisson
, were sent to cover the landing, and assist with their boats; it was perceived that the smaller vessels kept too far from the beach, and the Brooklyn
was despatched to set them an example.
An addition of perhaps twenty vessels was sent to aid in the debarkation of the troops, the aggregate number of their boats being one hundred; the army had boats probably better adapted to the purpose than those belonging to the ships.
The admiral made signal for commanders of vessels to go on board the flag-ship, and determined to form his lines as near the forts as a close examination of the depth of water by boats sounding in advance would permit.
was held off until the soundings were made, and then took up position, and the main line was soon in very effective position, and previously ‘the Ironsides
took position in her usual handsome style, the monitors following close after her, all the vessels followed according to order, and took position without a shot being fired at them, excepting a few shots fired at the four last vessels that got into line.’
The firing was slow at intervals, and was directed actually at the guns as at target practice; the parapets and the traverses of huge proportions were dug into and so changed in appearance by the craters made from heavy shells that these enormous piles seemed likely to be relegated to fellowship with the neighboring ‘dunes’ or natural sand-hillocks.