About noon a single steamer of the enemy came out, and at long range opened fire on the nearest vessel, but soon left on receiving a ricochet Xi-inch shell from the Seneca
, which lodged in the hog braces, as was known later.
The failure of the fuze, doubtless, prevented serious results.
At 11 A. M. the flag-ship crossed the bar and anchored some five miles from the forts; she was followed by the Susquehanna
and the heavy army transports, which anchored somewhat farther out. Signal was made for the commanding officers
of vessels to come on board the flag-ship.
On entering the cabin of the flag-officer
they were made acquainted with the plan of battle, and instructions were given them as to their position in line.
The vessels designated for the attack were of course quite ready, but the day was well advanced when the special instructions had been given and the necessary buoys planted, particularly on Fishing-rip Shoal.
says: ‘This rendered the hour late before it was possible to move with the attacking squadron.
In our anxiety to get the outline of the forts before dark, we stood in too near this shoal, and the ship grounded.
By the time she was gotten off it was too late, in my judgment, to proceed, and I made signal for the squadron to anchor out of gunshot of the enemy.’
The day following a heavy westerly wind prevailed; although the water was not rough, an attack would have been made at great disadvantage.
The morning of the day following was calm and beautiful.
In his report of the battle and abandonment of Port Royal
, General Drayton
, who commanded the Confederate forces, says: ‘On the 6th instant, the fleet and transports, which had increased to about forty-five sail, would probably have attacked us had not the weather been very boisterous. . . . At last the memorable 7th dawned upon us, bright and serene; not a ripple upon ’