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[289] conversation with him, informed him of the assault, of the early loss of a portion of the work and garrison, and that when I fell it had for a time demoralized the men, but that the enemy were demoralized by our unexpected resistance, and I assured him that if Bragg would even then attack, a fresh brigade landed at Battery Buchanan could retake the work. It was suggested that the General should take me with him, as I was probably fatally wounded, but I refused to leave, wishing to share the fate of my garrison, and desiring that my precious wife, anxiously awaiting tidings across the river, where she had watched the battle, should not be alarmed, spoke lightly of my wound. I asked him to carry General Whiting to a place of safety, as he came a volunteer to the fort. Just then the near approach of the enemy was reported and Colquitt made a precipitate retreat, leaving our beloved Whiting a captive, to die in a Northern prison.

One more distressing scene remains to be chronicled. The next morning after sunrise a frightful explosion occurred. My large reserve magazine, which my ordnance officer, Captain J. C. Little, informed me contained some 13,000 pounds of powder, blew up, killing and wounding more than a hundred of the enemy and some of my own wounded officers and men. It was an artificial mound, covered with luxuriant turf, a most inviting bivouac for wearied soldiers. Upon it were resting Colonel Alden's Hundred and Sixty-ninth New York regiment, and in its galleries were some of my suffering soldiers. Two sailors from the fleet, stupified with liquor, looking for plunder, were seen to enter the structure with lights, and a few minutes after the explosion occurred. The telegraph wires, between a bomb-proof near this magazine across the river to Battery Lamb, gave rise to the impression that the Confederates had caused the explosion, but an official investigation traced it to these drunken sailors.

So stoutly did our works resist the 50,000 shot and shell thrown against them in the two bombardments, that not a magazine or bombproof was injured, and after the land armament with palisades and torpedoes had been destroyed, no assault could have succeeded in the presence of Bragg's force, had it been under a competent officer. Had there been no fleet to assist the army at Fort Fisher, the Federal infantry could not have assaulted it until its land defences had been destroyed by gradual approaches.

For the first time in the history of sieges, the land defences of the work were destroyed, not by any act of the besieging party, which

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