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[320] ‘Bragg reports the enemy made a landing on sea-beach, three miles north of Fort Fisher, about two P. M. to-day, and were still landing at 5.30 P. M. General Kirkland's the only troops arrived, except four hundred of Hagood's.’ Whiting also stated in his report: ‘The garrison remained steadily awaiting a renewal of the assault or bombardment, until Tuesday morning [December 27th], when they were relieved by the supports of Major-General Hoke, and the embarkation of the enemy.’ Whatever number arrived before the 27th, they made no attempt to molest Curtis's little band of five hundred men, who remained ashore two days after Butler left, with no support except from the guns of the squadron. On the 25th, therefore, there were thirty-five hundred men opposed to Butler's six thousand five hundred.1 The garrison, it is true, were in a work of decided strength; but Butler had the most formidable fleet that was ever assembled to cover and protect his movements.

Doubtless, if he had not at once assaulted and captured the work, the whole of Hoke's division, and perhaps a thousand militia or reserves, altogether seven thousand men, would have been assembled

1 According to Whiting, on December 18th, there were 667 men in the garrison, and 800 reserves at Sugar Loaf; and on the 23rd, 410 reinforcements were thrown into the fort, of whom 250 were reserves. This makes 1,077 inside, and 550 at Sugar Loaf. On the 25th, Bragg reported Kirkland's brigade and 400 of Hagood's men arrived. Hoke's effective strength was returned, December 20th, as 5,893. He had four brigades. My calculation is:

Reserves at Sugar Loaf550
Hagood (Lee's dispatch)400

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