JANUARY 1ST, 1865: Receiving Grant's 30 December notification of a renewed Army assault by sea on Fort Fisher with an "increased force and without the former commander [Benjamin Butler]", Porter acted vigorously to set up a massive and overwhelming attack behind the fleet's heavy guns.
He directed that his 43 warships concentrated at Beaufort, North Carolina, and 23 on station off the Cape Fear River send in their operations charts for corrections and onload "every shell that can be carried" for shore bombardment.
Porter responded immediately to grant: "...thank God we are not to leave here with so easy a victory at hand...." He assured Grant that he would "work day and night to be ready."
At Fort Fisher, mindful of General Lee's message that the work must be held at all costs or that the Army of Northern Virginia could not be supplied, Col. William Lamb and his garrison readied themselves for the further expected attacks by the huge fleet which remained off the Cape Fear River entrances.
Getting Near Time. --Old B-Runner