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[446] in every portion of the work, hurling the loose brick and stone in all directions, breaking the windows, and setting fire to whatever wood-work they burst against. The solid-shot firing of the enemy's batteries, and particularly of Fort Moultrie, was directed at the barbette [unsheltered] guns of Fort Sumter, disabling one ten-inch columbiad [they had but two], one eight-inch columbiad, one forty-two pounder, and two eight-inch seacoast howitzers, and also tearing a large portion of the parapet away. The firing from the batteries on Cummings' Point was scattered over the whole of the gorge or rear of the fort, till it looked like a sieve. The explosion of shells, and the quantity of deadly missiles that were hurled in every direction and at every instant of time, made it almost certain death to go out of the lower tier of casemates, and also made the working of the barbette or upper [uncovered] guns, which contained all our heaviest metal, and by which alone we could throw shells, quite impossible. During the first day, there was hardly an instant of time that there was a cessation of the whizzing of balls, which were sometimes coming half a dozen at once. There was not a portion of the work which was not taken in reverse from mortars.

On Friday, before dinner, several of the vessels of the fleet, beyond the bar, were seen through the port-holes. They dipped their flag. The commander ordered Sumter's flag to be dipped in return, which was done, while the shells were bursting in every direction. [The flag-staff was located in the parade, which was about the center of the open space within the fort.] Sergeant Hart saw the flag of Fort Sumter half-way down, and, supposing it had been cut by the enemy's shot, rushed out through the fire to assist in getting it up. Shortly after it had been re-raised, a shell burst and cut the halliards, but the rope was so intertwined around the halliards, that the flag would not fall. The cartridges were exhausted by about noon, and a party was sent to the magazines to make more of the blankets and shirts; the sleeves of the latter being readily converted to the use desired. Another great misfortune was, that there was not an instrument in the fort by which they could weigh the powder; which, of course, destroyed all approach to accuracy of firing. Nor had they tangent-screws, breech-slides, or other instruments with which to point a gun.

When it became so dark as to render it impossible to see the effect of their shot, the port-holes were closed for the night, while the batteries of the Secessionists continued their fire unceasingly.

During Friday, the officers' barracks were three times set on fire by the shells, and three times put out under the most galling and destructive cannonade. This was the only occasion on which Maj. Anderson allowed the men to expose themselves without an absolute necessity. The guns on the parapet — which had been pointed the day before — were fired clandestinely by some of the men slipping up on top.

The firing of the rifled guns from the iron battery on Cummings' Point became extremely accurate in the afternoon of Friday, cutting out large quantities of the masonry about the embrasures at every shot, throwing concrete among the cannoneers, and slightly wounding and stunning others. One piece struck Sergeant Kernan, an old Mexican war veteran, hitting him on the head and knocking him down. On being revived, he was asked if he was hurt badly. He replied: “No; I was only knocked down temporarily;” and he went to work again. * * *

For the fourth time, the barracks were set on fire early on Saturday morning, and attempts were made to extinguish the flames; but it was soon discovered that red-hot shot were being thrown into the fort with fearful rapidity, and it became evident that it would be impossible to put out the conflagration. The whole garrison was then set to work, or as many as could be spared, to remove the powder from the magazines, which was desperate work, rolling barrels of powder through the fire.

Ninety-odd barrels had been rolled out through the flames, when the heat became so intense as to make it impossible to get out any more. The doors were then closed and locked, and the fire spread and became general. The wind so directed the smoke as to fill the fort so full that the men could not see each other; and, with the hot, stifling air, it was as much as a man could do to breathe. Soon, they were obliged to cover their faces with wet cloths in order to get along at all, so dense was the smoke and so scorching the heat.

But few cartridges were left, and the guns were fired slowly; nor could more cartridges be made, on account of the sparks falling in every part of the works. A gun was fired every now and then, only to let the fleet and the people in the town know that the fort had not been silenced. The cannoneers could not see to aim, much less where they hit.

After the barracks were well on fire, the batteries directed upon Fort Sumter increased their cannonading to a rapidity greater than had been attained before. About this time, the shells and ammunition in the upper service-magazines exploded, scattering the tower and upper portions of

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