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[311]

For five miles north of Federal Point the peninsula is sandy and low, not rising more than fifteen feet above high tide; the interior abounds in freshwater swamps, often wooded and almost impassable, and much of the dry land, except in the immediate vicinity of the fort, is covered with wood or low underbrush. Fort Fisher consisted of two fronts; one, four hundred and eighty yards in length, running nearly across the peninsula; and the other, extending parallel with the beach, a distance of thirteen hundred yards. The land front was intended to resist any attack from the north, and the sea face to prevent a naval force from running through New Inlet, or landing troops on Federal Point. The land front consisted of a curtain with bastions at each extremity, mounting twenty-one guns and three mortars; the parapet was twenty-five feet thick and twenty in height, with traverses reaching back thirty or forty feet. A palisade with a banquette, and loop-holed, ran along this face, at a distance of fifty feet from the fort, from Cape Fear river to the sea, and another between the right of the front and the ocean. The sea face consisted of a series of batteries mounting in all twenty-four guns, and connected by a strong infantry parapet so as to form a continuous line. The same system of heavy, bomb-proofed traverses was employed here as on the other front.1

Several miles north of the fort were two small outworks, known as the Flagpond and Half-moon batteries; these were mere sand-hills, each mounting a single gun.

1 Report of Brevet Brigadier-General Comstock, United States Engineers, aide-de-camp to General Grant, attached to the expedition.

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