with railroad bars, though planted very near to Sumter
, and seemingly impervious to her balls, was far less effective.
A new english
gun, employed by the Confederates
, was remarked by the garrison as wonderfully accurate and efficient; several of its shots entering their embrasures, and one of them slightly wounding four men. But the casemates were shell-proof; the officers constantly warned their men against needless exposure; so that, though the peril from fire and from their own ammunition was even greater than that from the enemy's guns, not one was seriously hurt.
And, though Fort Moultrie
was considerably damaged, and the little village of Moultrieville — composed of the Summer residences of certain wealthy citizens of Charleston
— was badly riddled, it was claimed, and seems undisputed, that no one was mortally wounded on the
side of the assailants.
So bloodless was the initiation of the bloodiest struggle that America
But, though almost without casualty, the contest was not, on the side of the Union
, a mere mockery of war: it even served to develop traits of heroism.
Says one of those who participated in the perils of the defense:
The workmen [Irish laborers, hired in New York for other than military service] were at first rather reluctant to assist the soldiers in handling the guns; but they gradually took hold and rendered valuable assistance.
Few shots were fired before every one of them was desperately engaged in the conflict.
We had to abandon one gun on account of the heavy fire made upon it. Hearing the fire renewed, I went to the spot.
I there found a party of workmen engaged in serving it. I saw one of them stooping over, with his hands on his knees, convulsed with joy, while the tears rolled down his powder-begrimed cheeks.
“What are you doing here with that gun?”
“ Hit it right in the center,” was the reply; the man meaning, that his shot had taken effect in the center of the floating battery.
Says another eye-witness:
Shells burst with the greatest rapidity