Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 21.djvu/292
284 Southern Historical Society Papers.
Judge Fulmore did not mention that before his company took charge of this Napoleon the original detachment from Adams' bat- tery had lost three of its gunners killed and two seriously wounded, not leaving men enough to man it. Seven men killed at one field piece by sharpshooters in thirty minutes, and many wounded, and the gun not surrendered until after surrounded by a brigade, should have paralyzed the arm of that North Carolinian who, in the " Last ninety days of the war," said " that no resistance was made, and the conduct of the garrison had been disgraceful." A number of those who were captured on the left have told me that when they were marched out of the fort as prisoners, they saw their front thickly strewn with dead and wounded Federals.
General N. M. Curtis, the fearless hero who lead the assaulting col- umns of the army, informed me in 1888, that he saw a portion of the parapet joining the left salient unmanned, and it was at this point he succeeded in making a lodgment, and that if he had been stoutly resisted from the top of the parapet he could not have then succeeded. The guns immediately to the right of Shepherd's battery were manned by some of my bravest officers and men, but the fatal mis- take of the commander was fighting from behind the revetment in- stead of from the top of the parapet, as ordered. Only two of the men mounted the parapet, and they were instantly shot down. One was Bob Harvey, a recklessly brave boy, the last male member of an old family of Bladen county. I have been unable to learn the name of his heroic companion. From behind the revetments these gallant men poured a destructive fire on the assailants as they reached the parapet, and the enemy fell thick and fast in their front, but they were too few to load and fire in time to stop the ever increasing col- umn, and soon the assailants were firing down upon them, and they were forced to surrender, although refusing at first to do so. Had they been on top of the parapet they could have used their bayonets or clubbed their guns, and thus delayed a lodgment until reinforce- ments came.
In justice to Major Reilly and the officers on the left, it must be remembered that it is usual, in the defense of a fort and breastworks, to cover the men and fire upon the assailants from behind the works, but Fort Fisher was built to stand a naval bombardment, and the magnitude of the work and great width of parapet gave opportunity for an assaulting column to protect itself under cover of its outer slope, and I knew that my only hope of repelling greatly superior