wagons smashed up. The commissary building was literally reduced to splinters.
The impenetrable bomb-proof was the salvation of the garrison.
The filth was in keeping with the ruin that prevailed; and the heap of unburied dead without the sally-port showed how hasty had been the flight of the enemy.
The troops returned to their camp about sunrise.
The night of the 7th Admiral Dahlgren
made an attack upon Sumter
in boats manned by sailors and marines from the fleet.
It was anticipated and repulsed.
The next day an action took place between the iron-clad fleet and the enemy's batteries on Sullivan's Island
, which was, probably, the severest naval engagement that ever took place in America
The enemy opened with a hundred guns of heavy calibre, but before the day was closed they had all been silenced.
The “New Ironsides,” commanded by that noble old sailor, Commodore Rowan
, played a giant's part in the fight.
Another bombardment would have given us the island, but the Commodore
was not permitted to renew the action in the morning, and the time given the enemy to strengthen his batteries rendered them quite impregnable.
The engineers were immediately set to work erecting strong batteries at the head of Morris Island
for offensive and defensive purposes.
Our guns at Cumming's Point
were a mile and a half from Forts Johnston
, and within less than a mile of Sumter
; and from Charleston
, as the bird flies, more than three miles. By the 17th of November our batteries erected against the city were in such state of completeness that fire was opened and thirteen shells were thrown into Charleston
from a thirty-pounder Parrott
The next day a one hundred-pounder was opened from near the same point, which threw fourteen shells into the city.
From that hour to its surrender the firing was continued on this doomed city; at periods of several nights in succession a shell was dropped into it every five minutes. One of the thirty-pounders had a remarkable life.
It was one of the two first that opened upon the city, and was fired at an elevation of forty-two degrees.
Day and night it continued to hurl the missiles of destruction until the night of the 19th of March, when it gave up the ghost at the four thousand six hundred and fifteenth round.
This was the first gun of this class and calibre that had been known to burst, and I challenge the history of artillery to show equal endurance in any other gun. There were fired from it one hundred and thirty-eight thousand four hundred and fifty pounds of iron, and it burned one-sixth as much powder.
Down to the time of which I write, the 19th of March, there had burst in our operations twenty-three heavy guns, of which one was a three hundred-pounder, five