Continued from January 19th blog entry.
After the naval attack was turned back on January 15, 1865, cries of victory arose from the brave defenders of Fort Fisher, who thought they had beaten back the main attack, but their exultation was short lived.
General Terry's troops had meanwhile attacked and taken the western end of the fort (by the Cape Fear River and held the parapet there. The Confederates immediately launched a counter-attack, and desperate hand-to-hand fighting followed.
Now the naval shore bombardment intervened decisively. Porter's fleet was at anchor and had correctly gotten the range and began firing at right angles to the direction of the Union Army's charge eastward and opened with "deadly precision" on the Confederate ranks.
Other ships lifted their fire to neutralize the river bank behind the fort to prevent reinforcements. Lamb later recorded that "as the tide of the battle seemed to have turned in our favor, the remorseless fleet came to the rescue of the faltering federals."
Things Going from Bad to Worse. --Old B-Runner