previous next

[169] On Friday morning, the fleet opened very heavily. On Friday and Saturday, during the furious bombardment on the fort, the enemy was allowed to land, without molestation, and to throw up a light line of field works from Battery Ramseur to the river, thus securing his position from molestation, and making the fate of Fort Fisher, under the circumstances, but a question of time.

On Sunday, the fire on the fort reached a pitch of fury to which no language can do justice. It was concentrated on the land face and front. In a short time, nearly every gun was dismounted or disabled, and the garrison suffered severely by the fire. At 3 o'clock the enemy's land force, which had been gradually and slowly advancing, formed into two columns for assault.

The garrison, during the fierce bombardment, was not able to stand to the parapets, and many of the reinforcements were obliged to be kept at a great distance from the fort.

As the enemy slackened his fire to allow the assault to take place, the men hastily manned the ramparts and gallantly repulsed the right column of assault. A portion of the troops on the left had also repelled the first rush to the left of the work. The greater portion of the garrison being, however, engaged on the right, and not being able to man the entire work, the enemy succeeded in making a lodgment on the left flank, planting two of his regimental flags in the traverses. From this point we could not dislodge him, though we forced him to take down his flag from the fire from our most distant guns, our own traverses protecting him from such fire. From this time it was a succession of fighting, from traverse to traverse, and from line to line, until 9 o'clock at night, when we were overpowered and all resistance ceased.

The fall, both of the general and the colonel commanding the fort, one about 4 and the other about 4.30 P. M., had a perceptible effect upon the men, and no doubt hastened greatly the result; but we were overpowered, and no skill or gallantry could have saved the place after he effected a lodgement, except attack in the rear.

The enemy's loss was very heavy, and so, also, was our own. Of the latter, as a prisoner, I have not been able to ascertain.

At 9 P. M. the gallant Major Reilly, who had fought the fort after the fall of his superiors, reported the enemy in possession of the sally-port. The brave Captain Van Benthuysen, of marines, though himself badly wounded, with a squad of his men, picked up the general and colonel, and endeavored to make way to Battery Buchanan, followed by Reilly with the remnant of the forces. On reaching

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.
James Reilly (2)
Ramseur (1)
Benthuysen (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: