damaged; the garrison had 10 of their 40 guns dismounted or otherwise disabled, and several men wounded--one of them fatally.
They were especially impelled to surrender by the fact that our guns were purposely trained on their magazine, which must soon have been pierced and exploded had our fire continued.
The credit of this almost bloodless conquest is primarily due to Quincy A. Gillmore
, who was at once General and Engineer; Gen. Viele
, commanding under him the land forces, and Com'r John Rodgers
their naval auxiliaries, who were employed only in transporting and landing the materiel
. But the moral of this siege was the enormous addition made by rifling to the range and efficiency of guns.
Our artillerists were as green as might be; and their gunnery — as evinced more especially by the mortar-firing — was nowise remarkable for excellence; but the penetration of a solid brick wall of seven feet thick at a distance of 1,650 yards by old 32s (now rifled) to a depth of 20 inches, and by old 42s to a depth of 26 inches, where the same guns, when smooth-bore, would have produced no effect whatever, was so unlooked — for by Gel. Gillmore
that he afterward reported that, had he been aware at the outset of what this siege taught him, he might have curtailed his eight weeks of laborious preparation to one; rejecting altogether his heavy mortars and columbiads as unsuited to such service, and increasing, if that were desirable, the distance at which his nearer batteries were planted to 2,300 or even 2,500 yards.
A considerable flotilla of worthless old vessels, picked up at various northern ports and taken down to our fleet blockading the entrance to Charleston harbor
, being loaded with stone, were sunk1
across one of the channels.
A tremendous uproar was raised against this procedure, mainly by British sympathizers with the Rebellion
, who represented it as an effort permanently to choke and destroy the harbor.
This accusation is absurd.
What was intended was to render it more difficult for blockaderunners, navigated by Charleston
pilots, to run out and in under the screen of fog or darkness; and this result was probably attained.
No complaint has since been made of any actual injury thus inflicted on the peaceful commerce of Charleston
: on the contrary, it has been plausibly asserted that the partial closing of one of the passes, through which the waters of Ashley
and Cooper rivers
find their way to the ocean, was calculated to deepen and improve those remaining.
, in his steam frigate Wabash
, with twenty other armed vessels, and six unarmed transports, conveying a brigade of volunteers, Gen. Wright
, and a battalion of marines, Maj. Reynolds
, setting out from Port Royal2
swept down the coast to St. Andrew's
and Cumberland sounds
; taking unresisted possession of Fort Clinch
on Amelia island
, St. Mary's, Brunswick
,4 St. Simon's island
and St. Augustine
; where Fort St. Mark--another of the old Federal coast defenses — was “repossessed” without bloodshed--Gen. Trapier
, Rebel commander on this coast, having no force adequate to