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[273] mile of our heaviest guns. Whether the smoke obscured the fort or the gunners were untrained, it is equally hard to account for the wild firing of these two days. If they had tried to miss the guns on the sea face they could not have succeeded better, no gun or carriage on that face being injured by the fire of the fleet; the only guns disabled being the two Brooke rifles which exploded. All the disabled guns were on the land face, which was enfiladed by the fleet as well as subjected to the direct fire of the armored ships, which came within a half mile of the fort. With the exception of the Brooke battery and some special firing on some vessels, the firing of the fort was slower and more deliberate than on the previous day, only 600 shot and shell being expended. The temptation to concentrate the whole of the available fire of the fort on a single frigate and drive her out and destroy her was very great, as I found that the garrison were disappointed at having no such trophy for the first day's engagement, but I had a limited supply of ammunition and did not know when it could be replenished. Already, on the first day, I had expended nearly one-sixth of my supplies in merely keeping the men in heart by an occasional shot. I could easily have fired every shot and shell away the first day. Admiral Porter expended nearly all of his ammunition in the two days bombardment. The Minnesota fired 1,982 shots and the Colorado 1,559 shots, a total for these two frigates of 3,551, about as many as we had in all the batteries of Fort Fisher. On both days I fired the last gun to let our naval visitors know that we had another shot left in the locker. In the bombardment of the second day the most of the remaining quarters were destroyed, more of the earthworks were displaced, but none seriously damaged, and five guns were disabled by the enemy. The greatest penetration noticed (from fifteen-inch shell) was five feet perpendicularly. During the day a large fleet of transports were seen up the beach, and the enemy landed a large force at Battery Anderson, three miles up the beach.

At half-past 4 P. M., sharpshooters were seen on our left flank, and they fired upon our gunners from the old quarters across the causeway and killed a young courier, who had been, without my knowledge, sent out of the fort, and captured his horse. I had two pieces of artillery run out of the sally port, and a few discharges of canister stopped the annoyance. At this time, on the 25th, my effective force had been increased to 921 regulars and 450 junior reserves, total 1,371.

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