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‘ [238] endeavored, sword in hand, to bring them forward to our support. Failing to accomplish this, he returned, under a shower of bullets directed at him alone, to the sand-hills at “C,” and when it seemed no longer useful to remain there coolly followed the retreating mass. How he escaped death is a marvel.’

In relation to Lieutenant-Commander Daniels, he says: ‘He came ashore in command of the party from his vessel. Although fitter for the sick-bed of a hospital than for the field, he persisted in going to the assault. He started with us, marched until his strength gave out, and his weak body was unable to carry his brave heart forward, when, by my orders, he went into the trench thrown up by Lieutenant Preston's party.’ An interesting letter from Colonel Lamb to Parker is given in the foot-note.1

In his report, the fleet-captain attributes ‘the failure of the assault to the absence of the marines from their position, as their fire would have enabled our boarders to use their ’


Norfolk, Va., January 15, 1879.
Captain James Parker:
Dear Sir—In reply to your recent letter, I would state that I was colonel in command of the Confederate garrison of Fort Fisher, North Carolina, upon the occasion of its assault and capture by the United States forces on this day fourteen years ago. The attacking column of the army was hid and protected by the river bank as it approached the left flank of the work, but the naval column came up the open beach upon our centre. As its success would have been disastrous, I concentrated all available guns upon this column, and met its assault with the larger portion of my men, posting them upon the ramparts so as to fire down upon the sailors and marines. I particularly noticed in the assault an officer who seemed to lead the column, and who was almost recklessly brave, and directed my men to pick him and other officers off, to discourage the assailants. When we afterward met on board the steamship California, at Old Point Comfort (where you had come to see if you could be of service to me in my wounded condition), you can imagine my surprise, after I had described this officer's dress to you, to learn that you were he, and the pleasure it gave me to know that so brave and gallant a foe had escaped.

With best wishes, yours very truly.

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