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[229] the Britannia, Tristram Shandy, Lillian, Fort Donelson, Wilderness, Aries, Buckingham, Nansemond, Little Ada, Eolus, and Republic, the two last being despatch boats, twelve vessels.

The lines above form a total of forty-eight vessels, the ironclads, not yet mentioned, being five in number. The reader will bear in mind the very effective broadside battery of the Ironsides (seven Xi-inch shell-guns and one Viii-inch rifle), and that the Monadnock with her two turrets was equivalent in force to two monitors such as the Canonicus, Saugus, and Mahopac, of more recent construction than the Passaic class, and possessed more power of resistance to projectiles.

The fleet, accompanied by numerous army transports, anchored during the night some twelve miles east of Fisher. In the morning, the Ironsides and her consorts proceeded at once to get under way toward Fort Fisher, and following in on their former range lines anchored as near that work as the depth of water would permit. This brought the Ironsides within one thousand yards, and the nearest monitor within seven hundred yards of the nearest guns, that were vigorously firing upon them as they anchored. The vessels proceeded to get ranges, and then to make effective practice at the guns in the fort, which, however, ‘replied vigorously until late in the afternoon, when the heavier ships coming into line soon drove them into their bomb-proofs.’1

At daylight lines one, two, and three proceeded also to execute the duties assigned them, and soon after sunrise were anchored in lines near the beach at Half Moon battery, four miles north of Fort Fisher. Boats were at once sent to the transports, and although there was considerable swell,

1 Belknap's Report

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