uss frolick Posted July 27, 2015 Share #1 Posted July 27, 2015 Anyone getting the new Bluejacket Kit of the USS Kearsarge might want to consider building her lesser known older sister ship instead. More heavily armed than the Kearsarge, in October 1864, she mounted one 100-pounder rifle, six 9-inch Dahlgren smooth-bores and two 30-pounder Rifles. The First Battle of Fort Fisher: "Detailed report of Commander Ammen, U. 5. Navy, commanding U. S. 5. Mohican.U. S. S. MOHICAN,Off Beaufort, N. C., December 31, 1864. ADMIRAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of yourGeneral Order No. 75, directing comman ding officers to make theirreport in relation to our attacks on Fort Fisher and the adjacent earth-works, and also a copy of a communication to you from Major-GeneralBenj. F. Butler, and in regard to some points touched upon you requestan opinion. At about 11:30 a. in. of the 24th, the fleet got underway and stoodin, in line of battle, toward Fort Fisher, bearing about W. S. W. andsome 6 or 7 miles distant. The Mohican was kept closely in positionassigned, following the leading vessel, the frigate Minnesota, and fol-lowed by the frigate Colorado, and she successively by the other ves-sels forming the main line. At about 1 p. in. the Minnesota sheered in out of line and took upher position at anchor, opening at once on Fort Fisher, some 2,100yards distant. As per plan of battle, the Mohican was sheered in aheadPage 310310 NORTH ATLANTIC BLOCKADING SQUADRON.of her, fired slowly on the fort, to get a range, and aiichored, thenopened briskly with the whole battery. The fort had opened on theMinnesota and on the Mohican previous to our anchoring. The Colorado sheered in ahead of us, letting go kedge astern, andthen anchored and opened fiercely on the fort. The vessels formingthe line then successively, with more or less success, took np theirpositions and opened. The ironclads, led by the New Ironsides, had anchored, a few minutespreceding the Minnesota, some 500 or 600 yards to the northward andwestward, and were slowly getting their range when we anchored,and the outer line of ves~els moved into position after the maui linehad anchored, and opened on the Mound and several detached ease-mated guns. The fire from the fort became weak as the vessels anchored andopened fire. It was soon apparent that they could not work their bar-bette guns without great loss of life, and the guns crews no doubtretreated under shelter with a few exceptions where high travel ses andfavorable angles gave them great protection. Different casematedguns, particularly those mounted in detached mounds and toward theMound, continued to fire slowly and evidently with not much effect,nor would the position of the guns served favor an effective fire. Thewhole body of Fort Fisher was filled with bursting shells, and only atlong intervals, if at all, was a gun fired from the main work. In the meantime, owing to the wind and the set of the tide, I foundthat the use of the propeller and the helm would no longer enable meto bring the broadside to bear, and was obliged to weigh anchor andmaneuver under steam, holding our position as nearly as possible, andavoiding interfering with the firing of the other vessels. After exhaust-ing all the filled IX-inch shells on board ready for use, the Mohicanwas withdrawn from the line at about 4:10 p. in., making signal toyou of the cause, and we commenced filling shells without delay. Aftersunset the fleet withdrew and the Mohi can ran into line and anchored. At about 9 a. m. of the 25th the signal was made to get underwayand form line of battle. The Mohican took her position and the fleetstood in to the attack. When nearly under fire I was directed verballyfrom you not to take position until further orders. The Minnesota, the leading vessel of the main line, proceeded in andanchored, got underway, and, after various attempts, obtained a well-chosen position, the main line awaiting her movements. The ironcladshaving preceded [us], during this time were in position, firing slowlyand receiving a part of the fire of Fort Fisher. After the position of the Minnesota was satisfactory I received ordersfrom you, about noon, to take position close astern of the New Iron-sides, which I did without delay, firing slowly until a good range wasobtained, then opened briskly on the fort. Iwas enabled to see, throughthe absence of smoke, that our fire was very effective, delivered at ashort 10-second range. One of the rebels guns was seen to be dis-mounted by our fire. Half an hour after we had anchored the Colorado passed ahead of theMinnesota and into position, anchoring and delivering a very effectivefire. The whole line soon took position and opened very heavily andevidently with great effect, driving the rebels from their guns, with afew exceptions, as those in casemates amid other places sheltered anddistant. The position of the Mohican enabled me to see well, as I wasfirst at anchor within half a ships length of the New Ironsides, ansPage 311finding that anchoring impeded an effective use of the battery, Iweighed, and in delivering fire drifted 100 or 200 yards nearer the fort. At 2:05 p. m. the suppiy of the 10 second fuzes and the rifle ammu-nition was exhausted, and the Mohican was withdrawn from action forthe purpose of obtaining more, speaking the Malvern for the purposeand obtaining none. Not being directed to go under fire again, weremained spectators near the Minnesota~ until about 4 p. in., when Ireceived orders to aid in debarking troops, and proceeded to execute,but instead of debarking aided in bringing off the soldiers that hadalready reached the shore. It has not been my lot to witness any operation comparable in forceor in effect to the bombardment of Fort Fisher by the fleet, and I feelsatisfied that any attempt to keep out of their bombproofs or to worktheir guns would have been attended with great loss of life to the rebels,and would have proven a fruitless attempt. On the first day we delivered 217 IX-inch shells, 59 100-pounderrifle, and 89 30-pounder rifle shells. On the second day we delivered103 IX-inch shells, 20 100-pounder rifle, and 25 30-pounder rifle shells,making a total of 513. Our firing was effective as well as rapid, and I have to express myhigh appreciation of the ability and zeal of Lieutenant J. D. Marvin,the executive officer of this vessel, and of Acting Master William Bur-ditt, whose long and varied professional experience proved useful.Acting Boatswain Josiah B. Aiken, owing to a deficiency of officers,had charge of the 100-pounder rifle and served it admirably. I have to express my satisfaction at the excellent behavior of theofficers and crew, and do not doubt that when the occasion arriveswhen they should do so they will stand to their guns as long as enoughmen remain to serve them. In relation to the effect of the fire of the fleet on the fort, I beg leaveto express my congratulations, as I did verbally on meeting you afterthe actions. It did not require a visit to the fort to see that enormoustraverses were nearly leveled, as at the S. E. angle. The stockade orabattis must have been much shattered, and the debris from the par-apets must have filled in the ditch greatly. I feel satisfied that every-thing was effected that can be by powerful batteries against a sand-work, and that we could and can keep the enemy in their bombproofspending an advance of troops to the foot of the parapet. The official letter of General Butler referred to, [which] states thatGeneral Weitzel advanced his skirmish line within 50 yards of the fort,while the garrison was kept in their bombproofs by the fire of the navy,and so closely that three or four mcii of the picket line ventured uponthe parapet and through the sally-port of the work, is, I think, entirelyconfirmatory as to the effectiveness of our fire. He adds: This wasdone while the shells of the navy were falling about the heads of the(laring men who entered the work, but appears to forget that at anygiven signal from an assaulting column, that this fire would cease andthe enemy be found not defending the parapet but safely stowed awayin bombproofs. I do not know what more could be asked of naval guns than to afforda safe approach to the foot of the parapet with no lines of the enemydrawn up to receive our forces. Beyond that, I suppose everythingwould depend upon the relative forces of the combatants and the vigorof the assault, and although the work might not, in a military sense, bemuch injured, I would think the likelihood of carrying the work wouldPage 312be greatly increased by such disposition without loss of life of therespective forces.I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,DANIEL AMMEN,Commander. Rear-Admiral D. P. PORTER,Commanding North Atlantic Squadron. thibaultron, Canute, mtaylor and 1 other 4 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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