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[316] and decided that the work had not been materially injured by the naval fire. Weitzel, too, had been in many unsuccessful assaults, and never in a victorious one. He had a distinct and vivid recollection of this experience, and returned to Butler, and reported that it would be butchery to assault.1

In the mean time the remainder of Ames's division had captured two hundred and eighteen men and ten officers of the reserves from Sugar Loaf. From these Butler learned the approach of Hoke's advance from the rebel army on the James. About sixteen hundred men had already arrived, and the division itself, six thousand strong, would doubtless soon be in his rear. He therefore determined at once to abandon the enterprise, and ordered the troops to be re-embarked. At this moment not a soldier had been hurt on the national side, except ten men, who were struck by the shells of the fleet.

Curtis was now within fifty yards of the fort, and sent word to Ames that he could take the work, whereupon Ames, not knowing Butler's determination, gave orders for an assault. Curtis at once moved forward, but by the time he reached his position, night had come on, and the fleet had nearly ceased its fire. Some of the rebel troops who had been driven to their bomb-proofs during the day now returned to their guns. At this juncture the orders to re-embark arrived, and no assault was made. Curtis, and the officers with him, declared that the fort could have been carried; that, at the moment when they were recalled, they virtually had possession, having actually approached so close that a rebel

1 Weitzel's Report; also Weitzel's Testimony before Committee on Conduct of the War.

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G. Weitzel (3)
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Adalbert Ames (3)
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