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[315] very serious damage had been done to the enemy's works.1

On the morning of the 25th, Butler sent Weitzel to Porter to arrange the programme for the day. It was decided that the fleet should attack the fort again, while the troops were to land, and, if possible, assault under cover of the naval fire, as soon as the Half-moon and Flagpond batteries were silenced. At seven o'clock the fleet again took up position within a mile of the fort, not a shot being fired by the enemy, except at the last four vessels as they were moving into line. The naval fire this day was slow, and only intended to occupy the enemy while the troops were landing. At twelve o'clock the batteries above the fort were reported silenced, and a detachment of about twenty-three hundred men of Ames's command was landed at a point two and a half miles north of the fort. The debarkation was effected under cover of the fire of seventeen gunboats, which raked the woods and drove away any force that might have opposed.

Five hundred men under General Curtis were the first to land. He pushed his skirmish-line to within a few yards of Fort Fisher, causing, on the way, the surrender of the garrison of Flagpond battery, already silenced by the naval fire. Weitzel accompanied Curtis, and approached within eight hundred yards of the work. He counted seventeen guns in position bearing up the beach, observed the traverses and stockade, the glacis, ditch, and counterscarp,

1 These statements of the rebel losses are taken from Whiting's letter to Butler of February 28th, which I have found to be incorrect in several instances. Incomplete, however, as the authority is, there is no other on the subject to which I can refer.

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