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[290] looked on in safety, but by the concentrated fire, direct and enfilading, of an immense fleet, poured upon them for three days and two nights without intermission until the guns were dismounted, torpedo wires cut, palisades breached, so that they afforded cover for assailants, and the slopes of the work rendered practicable for assault.

I had half of a mile of land face and one mile of sea face to defend with 1,900 men, for that is all I had from first to last, in the last battle. I have in my possession papers to prove this statement. I know every company present and its strength. This number included the killed, wounded and sick. If the Federal reports claim that our killed, wounded and prisoners showed more, it is because they credited my force with those captured outside the works, who were never under my command. To capture Fort Fisher the enemy lost, by their own statement, 1,445 killed, wounded and missing. Nineteen hundred Confederates with forty-four guns, contended against 10,000 men on shore and 600 heavy guns afloat, killing and wounding almost as many of the enemy as there were soldiers in the fort, and not surrendering until the last shot was expended.

When I recall this magnificent struggle, unsurpassed in ancient and modern warfare, and remember the devoted patriotism and heroic courage of my garrison, I feel proud to know that I have North Carolina blood coursing through my veins, and I confidently believe that the time will come in the Old North State, when her people will regard the defence of Fort Fisher as the grandest event in her historic past.

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