At 10:30 a.m. the following morning, Christmas Day, Porters ships again rained destruction opn the fort and maintained it while Butler's troops landed north of the fort near Confederate Flag Pond Battery. Naval gunfire kept the fort's garrison pinned down and away from their guns as Butler landed about 2,000 men who advanced toward the land face of the fort.
Meanwhile, Porter attempted to find a channel through New Inlet in order to attack the fort from the rear (Cape Fear River). When Commander Guest, USS Iosco and a detachment of double-ender gunboats encountered a shallow bar over which they could not pass, Porter called on the indomitable Lt. William Cushing, hero of the CSS Albemarle sinking, to sound the channel in small boats, buoying it for the ships to pass through. Under withering fire from Battery Buchanan, even the daring Cushing was forced to turn back, one of his boats being cut in half by a Confederate shell.
Not Even Cushing. --Old B-R'er