guns which were firing hot shot. He depressed the muzzles of his guns very considerably, fearing to fire too high; and, being desirous of working his guns very vigorously, had them run out with a jerk, the consequence of which was that the balls rolled harmlessly into the moat, and the guns blazed away with powder and hay wads at a most destructive rate. This continued until some of the officers on the ramparts, observing how much his shot fell short, told him of it. He then commenced operations on one particular vessel, which he kept at until some one informed him that he was devoting himself to one of their own chain-hulks. The enemy's gunboats did not come up to the expectations that were formed of them. The Louisiana especially was very much relied on, but her crew of two hundred men were drunk at the time that they should have done their duty best. I could not find out anything about her from this man, as he had never been aboard of her, and did not believe the exaggerated stories that were told him about her. The small loss of life in the Fort is due, to a great extent, to the fact that the men were carefully kept below, only the guns' crews being allowed out of shelter. The New-Yorker was a powder-passer for the battery in which the rifled gun and the large columbiad of the main fort were, and therefore had a good opportunity of seeing what went on, they being in pretty constant use. One bomb broke into the officers' mess-room, while they were at dinner, and rolled on the floor. As it lay between them and the door they could not escape, but all gathered in a corner and remained there in terrible suspense, until it became evident that the fuse had gone out and they were safe. On the first night of the firing, when the citadel and outhouses were all in flames, the magazine was in very great danger for some time, and a profuse supply of wet blankets was all that saved it. There was great consternation that night, but afterward the garrison got used to it and were very cool. A bomb broke into the secret passage out of the Fort. One of the soldiers went down into it some distance, when he was discovered by Gen. Duncan and ordered out. The passage was then filled up, and a guard placed over the entrance to keep every one away from it. This was told me by Major Sawtelle, Commandant of the Fort. Fort Jackson mounted
I am not positive about the calibre of the guns.
Those that I have called thirty-two-pounders had a calibre of six and four tenths inches, and I am not quite positive that there are ten short thirty-two-pounder guns in the bastion casemates, though such is my recollection.
Of these guns four were dismounted, but I could not see that the gun proper was injured in any case.
Of the gun-carriages, eleven were struck, several of these being entirely destroyed, and of the beds and traverses, no less than thirty were injured.
A large proportion of the last injuries were on the western side of the outer curtain, (where only three guns were mounted,) twenty out of thirty-nine being more or less injured.
The ramparts of the Fort proper were very severely damaged.
On every side, but particularly on the two northern ones, there has been great patching with sandbags needed.
Several of the entrances from the parade-ground under the ramparts, are masses of ruins — some of them being one third choked with debris.
The casemates are cracked from end to end. One of the bastion casemates has the roof broken through in three places; another in one place, and its walls are so badly cracked that daylight shows through very plainly, the crack being about four inches wide.
The entrances to the casemates are nearly all damaged, the roofs cracked, and masses of brick thrown down or loosened.
All the buildings were destroyed by fire or shell, the two western bastions and the citadel being completely burned out. The walls of the citadel are cracked in many places very badly--eighty-six shot and splinters of shell struck its face.
The amount of damage here reported would hardly be credited by any one who had taken a casual survey of the premises, and I myself should have considered it exaggerated if I had read it, after passing through hastily the first time.
After a careful examination, however, the impression left on my mind, is of a place far gone on the road to ruin, which would stand but little more before it would come down about its defenders' ears.
Everything about the Fort seems to have started from its place, some hardly perceptible, others so much that it would .be hard to find where the proper place is.
I do not profess an acquaintance with such matters, but it looks to me as if the whole structure would have to be demolished and rebuilt, if the Government ever intends to fortify the site again.
I have thus, sir, hastily thrown together the
|33||32-pounder guns on main parapet.|
|2||Columbiads on main parapet.|
|1||Rifled cannon on main parapet.|
|2||Columbiads in second bastion.|
|1||9-inch mortar in second bastion.|
|1||Columbiad in third bastion.|
|2||8-inch mortars in third bastion.|
|8||32-pounder guns in north-west casemates.|
|6||32-pounder guns in north-east casemates.|
|10||Short 32-pounder guns in bastion casemates.|
|2||Rifled guns in water-battery.|
|1||10-inch columbiad in water-battery.|
|1||9-inch columbiad in water-battery.|
|3||32-pounder guns on outer curtain.|
|75||guns in all.|