The first paragraph we omit, as it is a bare repetition of Major Andrews
'. The commodore proceeds:
I was requested by Colonel Martin
and Major Andrews
, commanding the post, to assume
command of the fort, to which I assented, Colonel Bradford
volunteering to assist me in the duties of defence.
In assuming this grave responsibility, I was not unaware that we could be shelled out of the fort; but expecting the arrival from Newbern
of a regiment of North Carolina volunteers at or before midnight, (the fleet having put to sea and appearances indicating bad weather,) we designed an assault on Fort Clark
, three-quarters of a mile distant from Fort Hatteras, which had been taken possession of by a party landed from the shipping; but, unfortunately, the regiment did not arrive until the following day, after the bombardment had commenced, and when the time came that I deemed evacuation or surrender unavoidable, the means of escape were not at my command.
On the next day at 7.40 A. M. the fleet, consisting of the Minnesota
, Wabash, Susquehanna
, and Harriet Lane, (other steamers being in company,) took their position and opened fire.
In addition to the batteries of the ships, the enemy had, during the night, erected a battery of rifled guns near Fort Clark
, which also opened upon us.
During the first hour the shells of the ships fell short, we only firing occasionally, to ascertain whether our shot would reach them, and wishing to reserve our very limited supply of ammunition till the vessels might find it necessary to come nearer in; but they, after some practice, got the exact range of their nine, ten, and eleven-inch guns, and did not find it necessary to alter their positions, while not a shot from our battery reached them, with the greatest elevation we could get. This state of things, shells bursting in and over the fort every few seconds, having continued for about three hours, the men were directed to take shelter under the parapet and traverses, and I called a council of officers, at which it was unanimously agreed that holding out longer could only result in a greater loss of life, without the ability to damage our adversaries, and, just at this time, the magazine being reported on fire, a shell having fallen through the ventilator of the “bomb-proof” into the room adjoining the principal magazine, I ordered a white flag to be shown, when the firing ceased, and the surrender was made upon the conditions of the accompanying “articles of capitulation.”
The personnel of this command are now “prisoners of war” on board this ship, (the Minnesota
,) where every thing is done to make them as comfortable as possible under the circumstances; Flag-officer Stringham
, Captain Van Brunt
, and Commander Case
extending to us characteristic courtesy and kindness.
We are to be landed at Fort Hamilton
, New York harbor.
So far as ascertained, there were this day two killed, twenty-five or thirty wounded, and many others slightly wounded.