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[282] concealed from that portion of the army not too hotly engaged to notice me, by remnants of the palisade. Ordering Captain Adams, who was at the entrance of the sally port, to turn his Napoleons on the column moving into the fort, I re-entered the work and rallying the men, placed them behind every cover that could be found, and poured at close range a deadlier fire into the flank of the enemy occupying the gun chambers and traverses than they were able to deliver upon my men from the left salient.

While thus engaged I was informed by my aide, Captain Blocker, that the South Carolinians had failed to obey my order, although their officers pleaded with them, and only a few had followed their flag and gone to the front; that the assaulting column had made two charges upon the extreme left, and had been repulsed; that the torpedo wires had been destroyed by the fire of the fleet, and the electrician had tried in vain to execute my orders to explode the mines when the enemy reached the foot of the works; that driven from the extreme left, the enemy had found a weak defence between the left bastion and the sally port in their third charge, and had gained the parapet, and capturing two gun chambers, had attacked the force on the left on their flank simultaneously with a direct charge of another brigade, and that our men, after great slaughter, had been compelled to surrender just as we had repulsed the naval column; that to add to the discomfiture of the Confederates, as soon as the Federal battle flags appeared on the ramparts Battery Buchanan had opened with its two heavy guns on the left of the work, killing and wounding friend and foe alike. This was rather disheartening, but I replied if we could hold the enemy in check until dark, I could drive them out, and I sent a telegram by him to General Bragg, imploring him to attack, and that I could still save the fort.

While I shall ever believe, that if my order to man the parapet had been obeyed all along the line on the left, the assaulting column would have been repulsed until I could have reinforced my men, and I would have been able to hold the fort on that fatal Sunday afternoon, yet General Bragg in his official report does gross injustice when he says: ‘The army column preceded by a single regiment approached along the river and entered the work on that flank almost unopposed.’ General Terry says in his report that one hundred sharpshooters with Spencer repeating carbines were sent forward to within seventy-five yards of the work and dug pits for their

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Braxton Bragg (2)
William Terry (1)
Spencer (1)
Charles H. Blocker (1)
Wirt Adams (1)
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