The Battle Of The War

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On 15 January, Porter continued to be in position to provide their most massive bombardment yet in preparation for the attack. At noon, 1600 sailors and 400 marines executed the ground assault along the beach about a mile and a half north of the fort. By 1500 the marines’ new position was now unable to effectively provide cover for the ensuing assault and failed to keep the Confederate riflemen off the fort’s parapet. As 1500 passed, the sailors quickly became restless for the army’s attack signal. Not waiting for visual confirmation of the army’s attack as directed, 1600 sailors ran across the open beach, and the naval attack very quickly became a rout. The sailors with only their pistols and cutlasses were no match for the Confederate riflemen, canister, and grape. After only 20 minutes the assault was repulsed, with the men retreating in droves, leaving over three hundred dead or wounded sailors and marines. Many of the wounded were left to drown in the rising tide. This was not the outcome Admiral Porter’s had envisioned. Realizing the naval assault was failing, Terry sent his aide to direct the remaining forces to relieve Abbot’s brigade and man the defensive entrenchments along the northern line with Paine’s division. Curtis’ brigade led the charge of the attack and Abbott’s brigade was held as a reserve. The 3300 black soldiers of Paine’s division would hold in defense of the Federal rear and only be used if necessary . The army’s attack was going as

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