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[74] about 1 p. m., and before she could be worked out to the Point the Harriet Lane weighed anchor, repassed the bar and communicated with the fleet, and the four steamers with the mortar boat in tow came in over the bar and up to about the position where the Harriet Lane had been brought to anchor. As soon as this movement was observed, I started for Fort Point, but before I could reach there a shot was fired from our battery in front of the foremost of the advancing vessels—our flag of truce boat then being but a short distance off—when the enemy, disregarding their own white flag, immediately opened fire from all the vessels with about twenty guns on our battery, which consisted of but one gun, a 10-inch, and they continued to play upon it until the gun was struck by a shot and so disabled as to be unserviceable, and the officer in command ordered the gun to be spiked and the barracks fired, and the men retreated across the low, open ground toward the city. I joined them soon after they left the battery, and the five vessels of the enemy having passed entirely around the point into the harbor, continued to throw shot and shell at us until we were out of their range. Upon the fleet turning up the channel toward the city, the two 24-pounders in battery on the bay side, near the east end of the city, opened fire on them, but our shot fell short, and the vessels having now come up to our flag of truce boat, ceased firing and took our messenger on board their flagship, and the fleet came to anchor.

The assemblage of vessels off the bar on the day previous had given us every reason to expect an attack, and during that day and the morning of the 4th, I had made arrangements with the railroad company to be ready with transportation to meet any emergency that might occur. Having some time previous to this been ordered by the general commanding the department to withdraw our troops from the city in case the enemy should bring to bear against our position such a force as to overcome our defenses at Fort Point and enable them to command the harbor, and after the gun at Fort Point was silenced, having no further effective means of defending the harbor or protecting the city from bombardment by the enemy or inflicting any injury on them, immediately after our troops had abandoned Fort Point, I ordered the two guns which were in position at South battery, on the south side of Galveston island, to be spiked and all our material at that and

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