After the capture of the fort all the troops were
withdrawn, except one brigade left in charge of the
How the explosion occurred was not known, but
Gen. Terry believed it was occasioned by accident
Gen. Hoke's division, reported at five thousand,
was at Wilmington. A portion of it was thrown
into the fort not long before the assault, and while
that was going on a demonstration was made by
General Hoke against our defensive, but it was found
too strong for anything more than a skirmishing,
About 11 o'clock on Monday morning, a heav^^
cloud of smoke was observed over Fort Smith, on
the south side of [N'ew Inlet. The naval officer
commanding that station reported that the enem;"/
had fired their barracks, and evacuated that fort.
The Iron Hearted Eegiment. 321
You will be pleased to know that perfect harmony
and concert of action existed between tlie hand and
naval forces ; and their respective commanders,
Admiral Porter and General Terry, vied in their
commendation each of the other. Each seemed
more anxious to do justice to the other than to claim
anything for himself, and they united in the highest
commendation of the naval and military officers,
and the forces engaged. To this harmony of feel-
ing, and the confident spirit inspired, may, perhaps
be attributed, in some degree, the success of our
attack, with nearly equal numbers, against a resolute
enemy, in a work unsurpassed, if ever equaled, in
strength, and which General Beauregard, a few
days before, pronounced impregnable. The arma-
ment of the fort was 72 guns, some of large calibre
and rifled, and one Armstrong gun. The troops in
tlie fort had rations for sixteen da^^s. Their loss in
killed and wounded was between 400 and 500. Gen.
Whiting had three w^ounds in the thigh. Col. Lamb
also who had gone into the fort with reinforce-
ments, and to relieve General Whiting on Sunday,
was wounded. On Monday everything was quiet as
a Sabbath day. The dead were being buried, and
the wounded collected and placed in transports and
EDWDs" M. STAI!TT0X,
Secretary of War.
322 The Iron Hearted Regiment.
REPORT OF ADMIRAL PORTER.
United States Flag Ship Malvern, 1
Off Fort Fisher, Jan. 15, 1865. /
Sir: I have the honor to inform j^ou that we have
possession of Fort Fisher, and that the fall of the
Burrounding works will soon follow.
As I informed you in my last, we had commenced
operations with the iron vessels, which homharded
while we landed the troops. On the 14th I ordered
all the vessels carrying 11 inch guns to bombard
with the Ironsides, the Brooklyn taking the lead.
By sunset the fort was reduced to a pulp. Every
gun was silenced by being injured or covered up
with earth, so that they would not work.
On the 19th Gen. Terry and myself arranged for
the assault, and I ordered 1,400 sailors and marines
to participate. At daylight the iron vessels, the
Brooklyn and the 11 inch gun-boats commenced
battering the work, while the troops made a lodg-
ment within 150 yards of the fort. At 10 o'clock
all the vessels steamed in and took their stations,
opening a heavy fire, which was kept up until 3 p.
M., when the signal was made to assault, the soldiers
taking the land side, the sailors the sea face, and
the ships changing, but not stopping, their fire to
other works. '
The rebels met us with a courage worthy of j-i
better cause, and fought desperately. About thirty^
of the sailors and ofiicers succeeded in getting t(>>
the top of the parapet, amid a murderous fire o f
grape, canister and musketry. They had planted 1
The Iron IIearted Regiment. 323
the flag tliere, but were swept away in a moment.
Others tried to get up the steep pancopee. The
marines could have cleared the parapet by keeping
up a steady fire, but they failed to do so, and the
sailors were repulsed. Many a gallant fellow fell,
trying to emulate their brothers-in-arms who were
fighting to obtain an entrance on tlie north-east
angle, as it appears on our charts. The enemy mis-
took the seamen's attack for that of the main body
of troops, and opposed a most vigorous resistance
there. But I witnessed it all, and I think the ma-
rines could have made the assault successful.
In the meantime our gallant soldiers had gained
a foothold on the north-east corner of the fort,
fighting like lions, and contesting every inch of the
ground. The Ironsides and monitors kept storming
their shells into the traverses not occupied by our
men, but still held by the rebels. In this way our
troops fought from traverse to traverse from 3
o'clock in the afternoon until 10 at night, when the
joyful tidings Avere signaled to the fleet. "We
stopped our fire, and gave them three of the heart-
iest cheers I ever heard.
It has been the most terrific struggle I ever saw,
and there was very much hard labor. The troops
have covered themselves w^ith glory, and Gen. Terry
is my ''beau ideal" of a soldier and a general ; and
his cooperation has been most harmonious, and I
think the general will do the navy the justice to
say that this time, at least, " we substantially injured
the fort as a defensive work." Gen. Terry had only
324 The Iron Hearted Regiment.
a few more troops than we had on the last occasion,
when the enemy had only 100 men in the works.
This time the works were fully manned, and con-
tained about 800 men at the time of the assault.
It is a matter of great regret to me to see my gal-
lant officers and men so cut up, but I was unwilling
to let the troops undertake the capture of the works
without the navy sharing with them the peril
all were anxious to undergo, and we should have
had the honor of meeting our brothers-in-arms
on the works, had the sailors been properly sup-
We have lost about 200 in killed and wounded,
amono^ them some srallant officers. I res-ret to an-
nounce the death of Lt. S. W. Preston and Lt.
B. H. Porter. They were both captured together
in the attack on Fort Sumter, and died together
in endeavoring to pull down the flag that has so
long flaunted in our faces. Lieut. R. H. Lamson
was severely wounded. He was lately associated
with Lieut. Preston in his perilous adventure on
the powder-boat. Lieut. George M. Bache and a
number of others were wounded, the former not
The assault only took place a few hours ago, and
I am unable to inform you of our casualties. They
were quite severe from the assault but we had no
casualties from the enemy's cannon.
Knowing the impatience of the department to
receive news from Fort Fisher, I have written these
few hurried lines. Xo one can conceive what the
The Iron Hearted Regiment. 325
army and navy have gone tlirougli to aclne\'e this
victory, wCich should have been onrs on Christmas
day without the loss of a dozen men. This has
been a day of terrific struggle, and is not surpassed
by any event of the war. AVe are all worn out
nearly, and you must excuse this brief and unsatis-
isfactory account. I will write fully by the Santiago
de Cuba which goes north to-morrow to carr}' the
Besides the men in Fort Fisher there were about
500 in the upper forts, and a relief of about 1,500
men was brought down by steamers this morning.
So far, I believe, we have only captured the garri-
son of Fort Fisher. I don't suppose there ever was
a work subjected to such a terrific bombardment,
or where the approach of a fort was more altered.
There is not a spot of earth about the foi-t that has
not been torn up by our shells.
I do not yet know the number of killed and
wounded l)y our fire ; but one 15 inch shell alone
pierced a bomb-proof, killing 16 and severely
I presume we are in possession of all the forts, as
Fort Fisher commands them all. It is so late now
that I can learn nothing more until morning.
lam. Sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant^
DA^T:D D. POETER, Rear- Admiral.
Hon. Gideon AYells, Secretary of the Xavy, Wash-
ington, D. C.
320 The Iron Heart mf) Keoiment.
COMrLTMKNTS TO WORTFIY OVFK'KRH.
[From the PalmcUo ]f(:ralfl.'\
Lien I. M. McMnrtin, (^lartermastcr, and Lieut.
IL S. Siiiii'onl, AdjuUiit orilio ]ir>tli K Y. Volun-
t(!('i-M, wore liniidsorncly UHod by tlioir regiment to-
day. To eaeli was i^iven a line liorse, with equip-
nientK. Tlie <j(\\\h were preHcnted by Major Wal-
rath, wlu), in an eloquent marnier, recited the
meritB of tlie officers and of the regiment whose
efficiency they had contributed greatly to sustain.
Appro] ►Hate responses were nnide, and a " sociable "
this evening is to wind up the affiiir.
A SKIRMISH AT IMI.ATKA, FLORIDA.
[Correspondence of (lie Palmetto JTcraltl.\
We had a skirmish with the r(^l)e]s here on Mon-
day, the 21st, in which the enemy, who made an
attack in force upon our pickets, was repulsed and
driven in lull retreat. Between a hundred and
fifty and two hundred of the rebels made a dash
upon our mounted pickets on the right, compris-
ing a portion of the lir)th New York, driving them
in a little way. A portion of the same force then
passed our centre and went to our left, where our
outposts were also attacked. The enemy fought
dastardly, firing from behind the trees; but not-
witlistanding this advantage, our own men being in
the open space, the rebels were driven back in con-
fusion, and taking to their horses made' the best
escape they could. In the fight, which was of very
l)ri('f dui'ation, not ojie of our own men was hit.
TlID JjlON JIkaKTKD KK(iIMENT. 327
One of oui- ofH(XTH, liowever, a.ssert.s that a robe]
oiBccr, inoiintod on a inagniticent grey horse, was
Been to lall after one of oiii- volleys.
The Ottawa, Lieuteiiant-Coinniaiider J3recse,
lired o\'er tlie town during the engagement, and
one or two r>f lior sliells burst prematurely, tlio frag-
ments falling among our lines, ]iapi)ily doing no
TUK FKARLKSS HUAUPSIIOOTER.
The 13th Indiana Regiment in our brigade (the
3d), prol^ably fought more battles than any regiment
in the 10th Army Corps, and were celebrated all
through the army for their bravery and splendid
lighting (pialities. J>eing reduced to a battalion,
they were armed with seven shooters and organized
Frecjuently they acted as skii-inishers dui'ing a
battle, and while in lV()nt of Petersburg they took
j)Ositions behind stumps, trees, and breastworks,
doing great execution.
At one point in front of Petersburg, where a
BC[Uad of the Indiana boys were watching the move-
ments of the enemy, one after another of their num-
ber wei-e rajudly shot dead, and the survivors could
form no idea whci'*' tin; fatal bullets came from.
Finally, one of the regiment far more daring and
shrewd than the rest, declared thnt he would take
his position in the fatal spot, and lind out the author
of the bloody work, if it cost him his life. So with
a select party of his comrades, lie repaired to the
328 The Iron Hearted Regiment.
place, and began eagerly watching the rebel lines.
For three or four hours all was quiet, but at last a
negro was observed walking leisurely along the
works of the enemy. He carried in his arms a long
fence rail which he carelessly threw across the sand
bags in front of him, and then suddenly disappeared
from view. In a moment the crack of a rifle was
heard, and one of the Indiana boys fell over dead,
being shot through the forehead. Our hero now
concluded that the negro was a black rebel, that he
was the man who had phiyed such dreadful havoc
among his comrades, and that the harmless looking
fence rail contained a murderous gun.
He kept a sharp look-out and presently saw the
negro aiming the fence rail at him. So he drew up
his trusty rifle, aimed quickly, pulled the trigger,
and two rifles cracked at the same time. The cham-
pion of the fence rail fell over dead, and the Indiana
boy received a slight wound in the scalp. JSTo more
of our men were picked ofl* in that way, and the
rebel scould not play the same game on them again.
The day following the occurrence noted above, the
Indiana soldier took his position in a tree top, and
picked ofl" four rebels with ease.
One evening he came up w^here the 115th lay,
and gave them an exhibition of his skill as a work-
man. The regimental flag was strapped to a post,
on the breastAvorks, and all da}^ the rebel sharp-
shooters and skirmishers had been trying to cut it
down, and towards evening they opened an embra-
sure in a fort opposite, and began throwing cannon
The Iron Hearted Regiment. 329
balls. The Indiaiui slKiq)8liooter stepped u\) and
saidj "Boys, they are trying to eut down your Hag,
are they? just let me get up to the works, and I'll
shut up their music for a while." The rebel embra-
sure was one mile distant, but "Indiana" took aim,
fired, and to the surprise of all, the ball entered the
hole, causing several rebel heads to disappear in an
amazingly short space of time. lie fired five times
in succession, and put four of the five shots in the
embrasure, and the Johnnies not liking such sharp
practice, ceased firing, and nothing more was lieard
of that cannon for several days.
The next evening "Indiana," accompanied by a
friend from his regiment, proceeded to walk boldly
in front of the rebel line of works, keeping in In-
dian file. Of course the rebels began to shoot at
them, and pretty soon a spiteful bullet came scream-
ing through the air, wounding each through the
leg badly. " Indiana's " comrade was naturally dis-
posed to limp but was soon led to change his mind.
"If you limp I'll knock your brains out w^ith the
butt of ni}^ g^iUj" thundered Indiana in a tone of
deep earnestness. " Forward, March ! Don't
let the sneaking traitors know you are wounded,"
he continued. Both marched boldly to our works,
and on reaching there safely, sank down exhausted
from the loss of blood. They both laughed, and
joked, and shook hands over the furlough they ex-
pected to get, and declared they would never enter
the door of a hospital. Indiana was warlike still,
and asked to be helped up to the works that he
330 The Iron Hearted Regiment.
might give the Johnnies his pointed respects.
After he had done that, he showed ns his many
wounds. He had a bullet wound in the right leg,
a sabre cut across the right shoulder, a deep bayo-
net thrust in the left side, and a sore wound in the
head beside the one received in the les: at the time.
He fought in the Mexican war, and took part in
forty battles in this one. When the stretcher ar-
rived to convey him to the hospital he refused to
get on it, and the last that was seen of him he was
limi^iug to the rear, supported by a stick.
A PLUCKY SOLDIER BOY.
Private Frank E. Eitche, Co. I, and orderly for
Col. Sammons, met with the following adventure
in the state of Florida:
One day he took a notion to ride out of camp a
couple of miles for the purpose of viewing the
country; so arming himself with a rusty rebel
sabre and mounting a horse, rode away into the
swamp alone. Suddenly he found himself con-
fronted by three mounted rebels who were armed
with- shot guns. Frank resolved not to be cap-
tured, and putting on a bold front he drew out his
rusty old sabre, and swinging it over his head with
the air of a brigadier, turned partly around on his
horse and yelled out at the top of his voice, " Come
on boys, here they are! here they are!" thus giv-
ing the rebels to understand that his command was
close by. He then commanded the rebels to sur
The Iron Hearted Ixegiment. 331
render, at the same time raisini;' his "toad Bticker "
in a threatening manner. Two of the chivahy
instantly wheeled their horses and dashed off into
the swamp at a break-neck pace. The third was
disarmed by Frank before he had a chance to run,
and together with his horse, gun and equipments,
was soon safe in the camp of the 115th.
The Union soldier was about IG years of age.
A soldier of the 115th had the following atten-
tion paid him by the rebels at Olustee:
They shot away his gun and he picked up
another. Hardly had he resumed firing when a
second bullet penetrated his canteen sending it to
the ground. In a little while a ball paralyzed his
right shoulder. He then w^ent to the rear and on
examination found his wound not very severe, so
he went back to the company and began firing
at the enemy again. In a moment a ball grazed
both legs just enough to start the blood, and
another passed through the centre of one of his
great toes making a very painful wound. He began
to think it about time for him to go to the rear for
good, and started otf, but unfortunately got among
a party of rebels who demanded his surrender.
He made motions to signify that he was wounded,
and pretended to comply with their demands. I^ut
observing a good opportunity he started on a run,
and although the rebels sent a volley of bullets
after him, he managed to escape. Upon reaching
332 The Iron Hearted Regiment.
the rear, he looked at his bleeding toe and damaged
shoes, and then cooly remarked that he '' did not
care anything about the hole in his toe, but it was
darn mean for the rebels to spoil his shoes."
STATEMENTS OF PRISONERS.
I was born in Waterford, Saratoga Co., IS". T., Jan.
24th, 1842, and enlisted in Co., H, 115th Regiment,
Aug. 9th, 1862, as a private. At the battle of
Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20th, 1864, I was wounded
through both thighs, the left leg, and the body ;
and being unable to leave the field was taken priso-
ner by the enemy. I lay there from Saturday the
20th until the following "Wednesday night, before
the rebels took me off*. They then put me with six
others in a rough wagon, and took us to Lake City,
a distance of thirteen miles. From there, eighty
of us all wounded, were taken one hundred and
fifty miles to Tallahassee in a single cattle car. At
Tallahassee we were placed in a church, had our
wounds dressed for the first time, and received good
On the 11th of April I was furnished with one
day's rations and sent to Andersonville, Ga., being
"^ve days on the route, and only the single day's ra-
tions to eat. A rebel ofiicer of the 4th Ga. cavalry,
rode up to us as I lay wounded on the battle field,
and observing one of my boots lying by my side,
asked where the mate to that boot was. I replied
that it was under my head. He then said '' When
I come back I want them." As soon as he rode off
The Iron Hearted Eegiment. 333
I took my jack knite and cut both boots in pieces
so be could not have tbem. After a short time
be came back and asked for the boots. I said
^' there they lay," pointing to the pieces. He de-
clared he had a good mind to run me through with
his sword. Eebcl soldiers came up to me as I lay
suffering, and stripped me of my overcoat, blanket,
haversack and canteen, and left without saying a
word. A private of the 4th Ga. cavalry came up,
and observing a gold ring on my finger, asked me
to let him see it. I dared not refuse, so I handed
it to him, when he walked off with it. Thinking
much of the rinp- 1 called to him to brins; it back
and I would give him a nice watch and chain. He
promised to return it, so I handed over the watch,
when he cooly walked oft* with both articles. For
seven months I lay in tliat ''hell upon eaith " Au-
dersonville, withou tshelter, ex}»osedto the v.eather,
with no clothing except a pair of pants. I have
frequently gone three days without receiving a
mouthful of food, and my comrade Charles H. De-
Graft', being too weak to walk up to the wagons, was
refused his rations, and he soon starved to death,
suftering like a dog. I was exchanged in Oct., 1864.
" G. D. COLE.
G. D. H was taken prisoner at Deep Bottom,
Ya., August ll)tli, 1864, and immediately placed
under charge of a rebel guard. Soon after being
captured he became very thirst}', and his guard con-
ducted him to a spring where he filled his canteen
334 The Iron Hearted Eegiment.
with water. As he was passing along he saw large
piles of arms and legs which the rebel surgeons had
amputated from their wounded. He was soon
sent to Belle island, from there to Danville, K. C,
and finally to Saulsbury. The last named place he
says pen or speech cannot describe, as it contained
so many loathsome and sickening horrors. The
dreadful scenes enacted daily were of the most ap-
palling and heart-rending character. Of 10,000
prisoners confined there, only 3,000 lived to come
away, and the greater portion of those were in a
dying condition, or were terribly emaciated by
starvation, exposure and disease. The rebels stole
his shoes, coat and blanket, and left him with only
a pair of pants and a shirt. The rations were only
a loaf of corn bread per day, barely enough to keep
life in the body. The prisoners became so ravenous
that they were more like wild beasts than human
beings, and would snatch the bread out of each
others mouths. He often awoke and found a dead
man lying beside him. The difl:erence between a
man who owned a blanket and one who did not,
was as great as between a rich man and a poor man
here. The guards were old men and boys. The
old men were generally kind to the prisoners, and
in many cases Union men. The boys were blood-
thirsty and brutal, and would shoot a Yankee as
soon as a dog. He was engaged in the attempt to
escape from the horrors of the prison, but it was
unsuccessful, and 80 of their number were swept
down with grape and cannistcr. Three men lying
The Iron Hearted Regiment. 335
quietly in their tents were killed. The fence was
80 high, and the men so weak, that the enclosure
could not be forced. The rebels told all the catho-
lics to stop out and they would give them good ra-
tions and a better camp Ave miles away. After
reaching there they were coaxed and urged to enlist
in the rebel army, l)ut nearly all refused.
While on his way to Wilmington he paid $50
for a ham weighing three or four pounds, and $25
for some corn bread which did not make a meal for
two. The rebel guards paid freely $60 in rebel
currency for $1 in greenbacks, and brass buttons
sold readily for $5 each. Although never sick a
day, yet he was reduced to a mere skeleton, and on
being paroled could scarcely walk. lie weighed
180 pounds at the time he was captured and only
80 pounds when he was released from the rebel
Sergt. Van Arnam, of Co. A, taken prisoner at
Deep Bottom, Ya., Aug. 16th, 1864, and paroled in
November, 1864, made the following statement on
his return home :
"I would say to the friends of these unfortunate
prisoners that Belle island contains about five acres,
and is enclosed by rifle pits, well guarded by home
guards composed of old men and boys.
"There are about 6,000 prisoners in this camp, four
thousand of whom have a shelter from the sun, but
afl:brding little protection from rain. All receive
rations twice a day ; at 10 a. m., one quarter of a loaf
of wheat bread, which is sour, and a piece of bacon
336 The Iron Hearted Regiment.
or fresh beef as large as your three fingers. Supper
at 4 p. M. ; same amount and kind of bread, with
one half-pint black bean soup, and occasionally in
its place, for a variety, rice soup. The prisoners
have no blankets, and sleep on the bare ground.
A list of prisoners in the hands of the rebels from
the 115th Regiment, IST. Y. S. Vols., on Belle island,
Lieut. C. N. Ballon, Co. A.
Corp. Fred. Putser, Co. I.
Musicians — I. A. Tripp, James Hale, Jesse Wood.
Privates — Thomas J. Henry, John Sherlock,
Robert Baker, Lafayette Waterman, Frank Molter,
Co. A ; F. Van Epps, Orrin Snell, Co. B ; William
Colgrove, Frank Mallery, Co. D ; Wm. S. Young,
Frank Lamb, Co. K.
Those who were paroled with me were Theodore
Reckner, Co. A ; David Brower, Co. D ; Barney Mc-
Guire, Co. L"
J. W. YAN ARN"AM,
Sergt, Co. A, 115th K Y. S. V.
CHESAPEAKE U. S. HOSPITAL.
Sept. 29, 1864.— Battle of Fort Gilmer.
Sept. 30. — Wounded begin to arrive from the
army of the James. A hospital boat blew up in
Oct. 2. — The surgeons are engaged in amputa-
ting limbs. Hospital boats are continually arriving
Tin: Iron Hearted Regimbxt. 337
with wounded, and amljulances arc roHiiiQ: alona:
night and day. The dead march is constantly
Bounding in our ears.
Oct. 3. — Thirty-live officers and men buried from
this hospital during twenty-four hours. A rebel
Od. 4. — Sv'veral officers died from the effects of
wounds. Their remains were placed in ])oard coffins
painted red. The coffins are covered witli stars and
stripes, then liauled to the grave-yard in tlie dead