The transports towed two schooners, having large, unwieldy iron surf-boats on board.
The same afternoon this force rounded Cape Hatteras
and anchored off shore near the proposed point of debarkation, which was some three miles east of Hatteras Inlet.
Surfboats were hoisted out, and preparations made to facilitate debarkation early in the morning.
At daylight on that day Major-General Butler
left the flag-ship for the Harriet Lane
with the company of marines on that vessel, Captain Shuttleworth
, which augmented his command to 915 men.
Signal was made from the flag-ship to disembark troops, and the Pawnee
, and Harriet Lane to assist the work and cover the landing.
While this was in process of execution, at 8.45 A. M., the Wabash
took in tow the sailing frigate Cumberland
that had joined the force after arrival off the bar, and followed by the flag-ship Minnesota
, led in to attack the batteries known to have been placed for the defence of the inlet.
Soon after, the steam frigate Susquehanna
appeared and signal was made her to engage the batteries.
The first object of attack was what was afterward known as Fort Clark
, situated a half mile east from the principal work at the immediate entrance to the inlet.
The vessels had opened fire beyond extreme range and the fort replied.
passed inside and ahead and with her consorts soon caused the battery of five guns, which was without a bomb-proof, to be deserted, the men passing through or around the shallow lagoon, to reach and take shelter in the principal work, which was also on the eastern side of the inlet and known as Fort Hatteras.
Shortly after noon it was observed that no flags were flying on either fort, and, as seen from the flag-ship, the nearest work, Clark
, was evidently abandoned.