previous next

[271] were hurled at us, I had heard of no casualty in the works. For these two hours I had remained on the parapet of the sea face watching intently for any effort to cross the bar, and in all that time, only one shell had exploded near enough to endanger my life. In the rear of the flag staff the wooden quarters of the garrison were situated, and these were soon set on fire by the bursting shells and more than one-half of them were consumed. The day being balmy, most of the men had left their overcoats and blankets in their bunks, and these were consumed. There was quite a quantity of naval stores, tar and pitch near these quarters, and they took fire and made an imposing bonfire in sympathy with the occasion.

As soon as the garrison flag was shot away, finding the shaft so split and shivered that it could not be raised, I sent word to Captain Munn to raise the flag on the mound. It seems that the halyards had got unreeved and it was necessary to climb the staff to fasten the flag. Private Christopher C. Bland, of Company K, Thirty-six North Carolina regiment, volunteered for the service, and climbed the staff under heavy fire and secured the battle flag to the masthead. At once a terrific fire was poured on the mound, and the lower end of the flag having been cut loose, again, that heroic soldier repeated the daring act, amid the cheers of the garrison, and securely fastened the flag where it floated in triumph, although torn and rent by fragments of shell, until the victory was won. While this was being done, I went to the left salient and planted a company battle flag on the extreme left. My two hours experience had taught me that the fleet would concentrate a heavy fire on it, and I wanted to put it where it would do the most good by causing the least harm.

For five hours this tremendous hail of shot and shell was poured upon the devoted works, but with little effect. At 5:30 P. M. the fleet withdrew.

The fleet, to our surprise, made no effort to cross the bar and run by our guns. One vessel inside would have ended the fight. Our guns and work would have been taken in reverse. The fort was built to prevent the passage of the bar, and remembering Mobile and New Orleans, we did not regard the battle as seriously begun until the American navy, with its accustomed dash, attempted the passage of the fort. It was this that made me reserve my fire, for nothing tempted me to waste my short supply of ammunition, not even the glory of sinking one of the hostile fleet. I rigidly carried out the

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Munn (1)
Christopher C. Bland (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: