Drayton at this moment; he doubtless had the apprehension, if not an entire conviction, that the earthworks would soon be abandoned.
His report says: ‘Two o'clock had now arrived, when I noticed our men coming out of the fort, which they had bravely defended for four and a half hours against fearful odds, and then only retiring when all but three of the guns on the water front had been disabled, and only five hundred pounds of powder in the magazine; commencing the action with 220 men inside the fort, afterward increased to 255, by the accession of Read
These heroic men retired slowly and sadly from their well-fought guns, which to have defended longer would have exhibited the energy of despair rather than the manly pluck of the soldier.’
At the time of the occurrences first quoted, several of the vessels of the main line took up positions to the northeast of Fort Walker
at a distance of twelve hundred yards or more; the Vandalia
, in tow of the Isaac Smith
by a long hawser, swept in long, graceful, but inconvenient curves, past and among these vessels.
The Unadilla, whose enginery was disabled, pursued her eccentric orbit, her commanding officer hailing and requesting other vessels to get out of the way as ‘he could not stop.’
As he swept by again and again the droll song of the man with the cork-leg that would not let him tarry was brought to mind.
Before the close of the bombardment, the Pocahontas
, Commander Percival Drayton
, entered the harbor, and taking position opened fire on Fort Walker
The vessel had received injuries in the gale of the 1st which delayed her reaching Port Royal
at an earlier hour.
Her commander was the brother of General Drayton
, from whose report quotations have been made.
The report of Flag-Officer Dupont
states that at 1.15 P. M. the Ottawa
made signal that the works at Hilton Head