on the peninsula under Bragg
But this was the very contingency against which Grant
His instructions were clear that, if a landing was effected above Fort Fisher
, that in itself was to be considered a success; the object of the expedition would be gained; and, if the fort did not fall immediately upon the landing, the troops were to entrench themselves, and remain and co-operate with the fleet for the reduction of the place.
's orders to Weitzel
, before the expedition started, were submitted to Grant
, the general-in-chief
at once sent word: ‘The number of entrenching tools, I think, should be increased three or four times.’1
The position could certainly have been fortified, and, under cover of the fleet, have been easily held against double or treble any force that Bragg
could have brought against it. As soon as Grant
understood the circumstances, he declared that, in leaving after a landing had been effected, Butler
had violated his instructions.
, indeed, maintained that he had not effected a landing; that only a third of his troops were ashore when the sea became so rough that he could land no more.
But his subordinates did not bear him out in this assertion;2
and, as he was able to get all his force aboard except Curtis
's command, he could certainly have put them ashore.