On July 1st and 29th, 1862, the fort was shelled by Union gunboats and on Nov. 19th by the ironclad "Wissahickon" and two escort craft. Hit below the waterline, "Wissahickon" withdrew after firing 17 11-inch and 25 other shells. The escorts withdrew later after firing 49 100-pdr. and 42 other shells.
On Jan. 27, 1863, the armored monitor "Montauk," Comdr. J.L. Worden, USN, anchored near the fort, leaving her escort of four gunboats one mile astern. She fired 61 15-inch and 35 11-inch shells, the first use of 15-inch shells against land battery.. On Feb. 1st, "Montauk" and her escort shelled for five hours, killing Major John B. Galle, CSA, wounding 7 gunners, and disabling 1 gun. On Feb. 28th, while her escort shelled the fort, "Montauk" destroyed the CSS "Nashville," aground 1400 yards NNW.
On Mar. 3rd, the monitors "Passaic," "Patapsco" and "Nahant," Capt. P. Drayton, USN, engaged the fort for eight hours with no more damage to either side than had been suffered in the previous engagements. No further naval bombardments were attempted. By Act of the Confederate Congress, approved May 1, 1863, the defenders were thanked for their "gallantry and endurance."