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[314] silenced almost as soon as the monitors opened their terrific fire, and by the time the last of the large vessels had anchored and got their batteries into play, only one or two of the enemy's guns were able to reply. The shower of shells had driven the gunners to the bomb-proofs.1 In one hour and fifteen minutes after the first gun was fired, not a shot came from the fort. Two magazines had been blown up, and the fort set on fire in several places. Such a torrent of missiles was falling and bursting that it was impossible for anything human to stand. As soon as he found the batteries completely silenced, Porter directed his ships to keep up a moderate fire, in the hope of attracting the attention of the transports and bringing them in. At sunset Butler arrived with a portion of his command, but it was now too late for further operations, and the admiral signalled to the fleet to retire and anchor for the night.

The men had been at the guns five hours, but not a sailor in the fleet had been injured by the rebel fire. The bursting of six heavy guns, however, occasioned a loss of ten killed and thirty-four wounded. Several of the ships had been struck, and, the boiler of one being perforated, ten persons were badly scalded; but only one vessel left the line to report damages. On the rebel side one man was mortally wounded, three severely, and nineteen were slightly hurt. Five gun-carriages were disabled, but no guns dismounted, and no

1 Whiting says the gunners were in no instance driven from their guns, but he is contradicted by the universal testimony of national and rebel witnesses. Naval officers, prisoners, and even the correspondent of the London Times in Wilmington, all assert that the entire garrison was driven to the bomb-proofs.

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