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[506] the Redan, and which has been formed by throwing up intrenchments on the line of the break-water erected some years ago by the United States Government, for the protection of that portion of the harbor. Beyond the Redan, up near the head of the harbor, on an island, appears Castle Pinckney, in the vista, looking like the Battery in New-York City as seen from the sea-entrance.

So far as the eye can see we have now exhausted the fortifications on the right hand side of the harbor. It now remains briefly to glance at those that line the left hand side. In the mean while, Fort Sumter rises up conspicuously before us in mid-chanel. We can see every brick in its walls. Two faces out of its five, and two angles only, come within sight from our point of view, namely, the south face, on which the sally-port and wharf are placed, and the eastern face. You are too familiar with the general features of this historic work to make any description necessary. It was, you know, pierced for two tiers of guns, but the lower embrasures had been filled in to strengthen it. From the top of the fort frown the barbette guns, which comprise all the heaviest portion of its armament. You can count distinctly each barbette gun-one, two, three, four, five on this; one, two, three, four on that, and so on all round, and it is easy to see that the ordnance is of the most formidable character. From a flag-staff on one of the angles of the fort, floats the confederate flag; from a flag-staff on the opposite angle floats the palmetto flag.

Passing now to the left hand side of the harbor, on James Island, we first have the Wappoo battery, near Wappoo Creek, effectually commanding the embouchure of Ashley River and the left side of the city. Next, coming down, we have Fort Johnston, and between it and Castle Pinckney, on an artificial island raised by the rebels, on the “middle ground,” is Fort Ripley. Coming down to Cumming's Point, directly opposite Moultrie, is the Cumming's Point battery, named by the rebels Battery Bee, after the general of that name; south of Battery Bee, on Morris Island, is Fort Wagner, a very extensive sand battery of the most powerful construction. Half-way down Morris Island, again, from Fort Wagner, is a new sandwork erected by the rebels since I surveyed the ground from the blockading fleet, a fortnight ago. Finally, down at Lighthouse Inlet, which divides Morris from Folly Island, is another fortification, covering an attempt at a landing at that point. Such is the formidable panorama the eye takes in, in sweeping around the harbor and its approaches, and which you can imagine pictures itself on the retina in much less time than is required for the description.


Iv.

And now, before the horrible fascination of battle shall whirl all thought and feeling into a tumultuous chaos, is it possible to realize for a moment the true nature of the situation before us?

With respect both to the obstacles we are to meet, and the engines with which we are to meet them, every thing is novel and unprecedented. Comparison is simply impossible, for where there are no points of resemblance comparison is out of the question.

But can you imagine, if one were permitted to play with the elements of time and space — the shade of Nelson transferred from his gun-deck off Trafalgar, after but little over half a century, and placed on board of one of those iron craft before us; and can you imagine the sensations of that consummate master of all the elements of naval warfare as known in his day? He must be help-less as a child, and bewildered as a man in a dream. From his splendid three-decker, the Victory, carrying its hundred guns, and towering majestically on the water, which it rides like a thing of life, he finds himself imprisoned in an iron casing, the whole hull and frame of which is submerged in the water, the waves washing clean over its deck, and depending for its defensive power on a couple of guns, of a calibre that would astonish him, placed in a circular tower, rising from the deck amidships. This turret is in thick-ness eleven inches of wrought-iron, revolves on an axis by the delicate appliances of steam engineering, and contains the entire armament and fighting crew of the ship. The fire, the animation, the life of an old-time naval fight, when men gave and took, exposed to plain view — when ships fought yard-arm to yard-arm, and human nature in its intensest exaltation appeared, are here wholly out of the question, with the combatants shut up in impenetrable iron, and delivering their fire by refined process of mathematical and mechanical appliance.

Nor are the outward shapes of these craft less divergent from all that the world has hitherto seen of naval models than are their internal economy and fighting arrangements removed from all previous modes. The majesty of a first-class man-of-war, with its lines of beauty and strength, on which the aesthetic instincts of ages have been expended, is here replaced by purely geometrical combinations of iron, in which the one paramount and all-controlling consideration is the resisting power of lines, angles, and surfaces. As they stretch in horrid file before us, along the shore of Morris Island, awaiting the signal from the flag-ship to move, those nine ships, comprising the three different models represented by the Iron-sides, the Monitors, and the Keokuk, one might almost fancy that some of the pachydermous monsters which paleontology brings to view from the “dark backward and abysm of time,” had returned in an iron resurrection; and the spectacle they presented to the rebels from their posts of outlook, must have been one of portentous grandeur.

Precisely at half-past 12 o'clock the fleet begins to move on to the attack. The line of battle is formed in the order assigned to each ship in the Admiral's programme, and the position as marked on the diagram — the Keokuk, which brings up the rear of the line, lying down nearly opposite Lighthouse Inlet, and the others

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