Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 26.djvu/173
, 11,,,,-ii d,,!.*,- WhUiiuj. 163
more shot and shell than all the magazines in the fort con- tained.
" From the left salient to the mound, Fort Fisher had forty-four vjun>. and not over 3,000 shot and shell, exclusive of grape and shrapnel. The Armstrong gun had only one dozen rounds of fixed ammunition, and no other projectiles could be used in its delicate - 1 >oves. The order was given to fire no shot until the Columbiad at headquarters fired, and that each gun that bore on a vessel should be fired every thirty minutes, and not oftener, except by special or- der, unless an attempt was made to cross the bar, when every gun bearing on it, should be fired as rapidly as accuracy would permit."
For five hours this tremendous hail of shot and shell was poured upon the works, before they hauled off for the night.
General Whiting had been assigned to no duty by General Bragg, although it was his right to have commanded the supporting troops. He determined to go to the fort and share its fate. Meeting its commander, who offered to relinguish the control, the General declined to take away the glory of the defence from the brave Lamb, but declared he would counsel him, and fight as a volunteer. '-'
The 'second day by 10 o'clock the fleet was in line again, some five miles long, and from half a mile to a mile and a half distant, pouring a rain of shot and shell. Landing his troops out of range, as evening approached, a column of attack was formed. The fire of the fleet reached over one hundred immense projectiles per minute. The garrison was rallied to the line of the palisades, and the guns of the land defences being nearly intact, if that storming column had reached the fort, hardly a man would have been left alive to tell the tale. But they faltered and broke, and the advanced line threw themselves on the sand to creep out of fire. They re-embarked, and the first battle of Fisher was over, amid the rejoicing of the Confederates. Strange to say, no effort had been made by Bragg' s troops; he had not even ordered an attack upon 700 shivering wretches left behind by their comrades on the night of the 26th, whose condition made them an easy prey.
Ten thousand shots had been fired, and the damage to the fort was comparatively little, and the battle had been won by its garrison alone.
The great armada steamed northward to refit and take in fresh
ammunition and more troops. General Whiting asked for the nec-
iry fixed ammunition for the guns, as 1,272 shots out of 3,000
had left a dangerously small supply, and for hand grenades to be