Gen. T. W. Sherman
commanded the land forces, consisting of thirteen volunteer regiments, forming three brigades, and numbering not less than 10,000 men; while the fleet — commanded by Com. Samuel F. Du Pont
--embraced the steam-frigate Wabash
, 14 gunboats, 22 first-class and 12 smaller steamers, with 26 sailing vessels.
After a stormy passage, in which several transports were disabled, and four absolutely lost, Com. Du Pont
, in his flag-ship, came to off Port Royal, S. C.
, during the night of November 3d and 4th; and, after proper soundings and reconnoissances, which developed the existence of a new fort on either side of the entrance, the Commodore
brought his most effective vessels into action at 9 A. M., on Thursday, November 7th, taking the lead in his flag-ship, the Wabash
--the gunboats to follow at intervals in due order.
Thus the fighting portion of the fleet steamed slowly up the bay by the forts, receiving and returning the fire of the batteries on Bay Point
as they passed up, and
Port Royal and Hilton head: explanation.--Nos.
10, 11, 12, 13, and 14, in the back-ground, are the positions of the smaller Federal gunboats.|
exchanging like compliments with the stronger fort on Hilton Head
as they came down.
Thus no vessel remained stationary under fire; so that the enemy were at no time enabled to gain, by experiment and observation, a perfect aim. The day was lovely; the spectacle magnificent; the fight spirited, but most unequal.
Despite the general presumption that batteries, well manned and served, are superior to ships when not iron-clad, the terrible rain of shot and shell upon the gunners in the Rebel