He was the senior officer ashore, and therefore directed the commanding officers
of detachments from the different ships to report to the senior lieutenant-commander
of that division of the fleet to which their respective vessels belonged, and that they should be formed in line of battle, first division in front and second and third following.
was in command of the first division, Parker
of the second, and Selfridge
of the third.
These preparations were completed when LieutenantCom-mander Breese
came in haste from General Terry
He had with him two sailors, one of whom bore the admiral's flag.
On meeting Parker
, the last named asked who was to command, and Breese
produced a letter from the admiral stating that he [Breese] was to represent the admiral in the assault.
With praiseworthy zeal Parker
assumed the role of an inferior rank, in deference to the admiral's flag, and the columns actually in movement were proceeding by the flank under the shelving beach, which afforded partial protection from the enemy's fire.
In his report, in reference to preliminary arrangements, Fleet-Captain Breese
says: ‘Lieutenant Preston
with a de. tail of men from the vessels, threw up, within six hundred yards of the fort, a well-protected breastwork, and from that gradually advanced to within two hundred yards a succession of rifle-pits, which were most promptly occupied by a line of skirmishers composed of marines under Lieutenant Fagan
The manner in which this was done reflects most creditably upon Lieutenant Preston
He states further that four lines of assault were intended, the first of marines, Captain L. L. Dawson
; the second of sailors from the first and fourth divisions of the fleet, under Cushman
; the third, sailors from the second division, under Parker
; the fourth, the sailors from the third division of the fleet, under Selfridge