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Secession reports.

Major Andrews' report.

on board United States ship Minnesota, September 1, 1861.
To the Adjutant-General of North Carolina:
sir: I beg leave to report that after a bombardment of three hours and twenty minutes, on August 29, 1861, I surrendered to Commodore S. H. Stringham, Flag-officer, and Major-General Benjamin F. Butler, Commanding United States forces, Fort Hatteras, at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.

In making this report, I desire briefly to relate the circumstances attending the capitulation.

I arrived at Fort Hatteras on the evening of the 28th of August in company with Commodore Barron, Flag-officer C. S. navy, in charge of the defences of Virginia and North Carolina, [15] and found that during the day the enemy had attacked the forces under the command of Colonel William F. Martin, as well as Forts Clark and Hatteras, under my command, and after a day of most severe and unceasing fighting, the colonel had succeeded in concentrating all the forces within the walls of Fort Hatteras. Colonel Martin himself was utterly prostrated by the duties of the day, and after consultation with him, I proposed that we invite Commodore Barron, an officer of great experience, to take the general command and direct the succeeding operations. Commodore Barron assented, and assumed the command. I then proceeded to examine our guns and munitions, and prepare the fort for the action of the coming morning.

There were but two guns mounted on the side next to Fort Clark, both thirty-two pounders, and one gun on the corner next the bar, an eight-inch shell gun. During the night I tore away a traverse on the back face of the work, and brought another gun to bear in the same direction. The companies of my command, under Capts. Cobdon, Lamb, and Sutton, having been in action all the previous day, displaying great courage and devotion, being perfectly exhausted, I placed the batteries in charge of fresh troops, as follows: Nos. two and three of the channel battery under the command of Capt. Thos. Sparrow, assisted by his Lieutenants Shaw and Thomas; Nos. four and five of the same battery were under command of Lieut.-Col. George W. Johnston, assisted by First Lieutenant Mose and Second Lieutenant George W. Daniel; No. six, facing the bar, and No. seven, facing Fort Clark, were placed in charge of Major Henry A. Gillion, assisted by Lieutenants Johnston and Grimes; No. eight, a gun mounted on naval carriage, was commanded by Lieutenant Murdaugh, of the C. S. N, assisted by Lieutenant Sharp and Midshipman Stafford.

Capt. Thomas H. Sharp had command of No. one, but, owing to the wrenches not fitting the eccentric axles, was unable to bring it into action. He stayed by his gun during most of the engagement, but could not fire. Thus we had but three guns we could bring to bear, (if the enemy took up his position of the previous day,) viz., Nos. six, seven, and eight.

At forty minutes past seven A. M., of the 29th; the enemy opened fire on us from the steam frigate Minnesota, (forty-three guns,) Wabash, (forty-three guns,) Susquehanna, (fifteen guns,) frigate Cumberland, (twenty-four guns,) steamer Pawnee, (ten guns,) and Harriet Lane, (five guns,) and a rifled battery of three guns erected in the sand hills three miles east of Fort Clark. Thus you will see they brought seventy-three guns of the most approved kind and heaviest metal to bear on us — the shells thrown being nine-inch, ten-inch, and eleven-inch Dahlgren, Paixhan, and Columbiad; while, from the position taken, we were unable to reach them with the greatest elevation. The men of the channel battery were ordered to leave their guns and protect themselves as well as possible, the council of the commanding officers having decided that it was to be an action of endurance until our reinforcements came up. After a few shots had been fired, and it was ascertained that we could not reach them, our guns ceased fire, and only answered the fire of the enemy occasionally, to show we had not surrendered. The shower of shell in half an hour became literally tremendous, as we had falling into and immediately around the works not less, on an average, than ten each minute, and, the sea being smooth, the firing was remarkably accurate.

One officer counted twenty-eight shells as falling so as to damage us in one minute, and several others counted twenty in a minute. At a quarter to eleven o'clock a council of the officers was held, and it was determined to surrender. A white flag was raised, and the firing ceased at eleven o'clock. Thus for three hours and twenty minutes Fort Hatteras resisted a storm of shells perhaps more terrible than ever fell upon any other works. At the time the council determined to surrender, two of our guns were dismounted, four men were reported killed, and between twenty-five and thirty badly wounded. One shell had fallen into the room adjoining the magazine, and the magazine was reported on fire. It is useless to attempt a further description. The men generally behaved well. Nearly every commissioned officer, from the commodore down, was more or less wounded, and fifty or sixty of the non-commissioned officers and men, who would not report to the surgeon.

Lieut. J. L. Johnston, Company E, Seventh regiment, fired the last gun at the enemy, and raised the flag of truce on the bomb-proof.

The details of capitulation were arranged on the flagship Minnesota, by which we laid down our arms, and marched out prisoners of war.

I desire especially to speak of the conduct of the officers and men at the naval gun, who fired frequently to try the range. Lieut. Murdaugh was badly wounded; Lieut. Sharp was knocked down by a shell, which passed through the parapet near his head, and brought the blood from his right ear and cheek in considerable quantity, killing a man at his side, at the same time knocking down and covering Col. J. A. J. Bradford with earth. Midshipman Stafford cheered on the men, behaving in a most gallant manner.

After the fall of Lieut. Murdaugh, his men bore him to the commodore's boat and he escaped.

I am, very truly and respectfully, yours,

W. S G. Andrews, Major, &c.

Commodore Barron's report.

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 [16] 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, Cumberland, Pawnee, 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.

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