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[515]

General Beauregard to the troops.

headquarters Department of South-Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, Charleston, S. C., April 10.
General orders, no. 55.

The Commanding General is gratified to have to announce to the troops the following joint resolutions unanimously adopted by the Legislature of the State of South-Carolina:

Resolved, That the General Assembly reposes unbounded confidence in the ability and skill of the Commanding General of this department, and the courage and patriotism of his brave soldiers, with the blessing of God, to defend our beloved city and to beat back our vindictive foes.”

Resolved, That his Excellency the Governor be instructed to communicate this resolution to General Beauregard.”

Soldiers! the eyes of your countrymen are now turned upon you on the eve of the second anniversary of the thirteenth of April, 1861, when the sovereignty of the State of South-Carolina was triumphantly vindicated within the harbor which we are now to defend. The happy issue of the action on the seventh instant--the stranded, riddled wreck of the iron-mailed Keokuk, her baffled coadjutors forced to retire behind the range of our guns, have inspired confidence in the country that our ultimate success will be complete. An inestimably precious charge has been confided to your keeping, with every reliance on your manhood and enduring patriotism.

By command of

General Beauregard. Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.
Official : John M. Otey, A. A.G.


Mobile Register account.

Charleston, April 8.
A visit to Fort Sumter to-day enables me to present to your readers a more correct account of the late engagement in front of Charleston than the one already sent to you, and which was prepared the night succeeding the attack, when but few of the facts had been definitely ascertained. In order to give a full understanding of the affair, it may be necessary to begin the narrative with the first appearance of the Federal armada in this vicinity.

At half-past 10 o'clock, Sunday morning, the fifth instant, it was reported at Fort Sumter that twenty-seven vessels were visible just outside the bar, one of which was the Ironsides, and four were monitors or turreted iron-clads. On the morning of the sixteenth, (Monday,) as the fog lifted, it was discovered that the Ironsides, eight monitors, and a large number of other vessels were in sight, the Ironsides having already crossed the bar and come to anchor off Morris Island. An infantry force, variously estimated at from three thousand to six thousand, was landed on Coles's Island, off the mouth of Stono River, during Sunday night.

But before proceeding further, it may be well to restate the names of the torts and batteries that participated in the fight. They are Fort Sumter in the harbor, Fort Wagner and Cumming's Point Battery on Morris Island, the first looking seaward, and the second across the harbor; and Fort Moultrie, Battery Bee, and Battery Beau-regard, on Sullivan's Island. Looking out to sea from Charleston, Morris Island is on the extreme right, and Sullivan's Island on the extreme left.

After various changes of position, the whole iron-clad fleet advanced to the attack at two o'clock Tuesday afternoon, the seventh, in the following order: The first line consisted of four monitors, the Passaic supposed to be in the lead, with the so-called “Devil” (a nondescript machine for removing torpedoes) attached to her prow. The second line also consisted of four monitors, the double-turret Keokuk lying on the right. The Ironsides, with Admiral Du Pont on board, held position about equidistant between the two lines and near the centre. The wooden vessels outside moved closer in, and during the action remained silent spectators of the conflict.

At half-past 2 o'clock the long-roll was beat in Sumter. The garrison answered promptly with a shout, and rushed immediately to battery. The garrison, palmetto, and regimental flags were now hoisted, and saluted by order of Col. Rhett with thirteen guns-thus announcing to the enemy, that though the Fort might be battered down, the confederate colors would be kept flying as long as a gun was left standing and there was a man to fire it. Admiral Du Pont had said that he would reduce the Fort in three hours, and this defiance was hurled in his teeth in answer to his unseemly boasts.

About three o'clock the fight was opened by Fort Moultrie firing a shot. Three minutes later the barbette guns on the cast face of Sumter, commanded by Captain D. G. Fleming, were fired by battery, with a report that brought all Charleston to the promenade-battery and to the house-tops to witness the imposing spectacle. Two minutes later the Passaic returned the compliment with two guns fired almost simultaneously. The fight thus opened soon became general. The Passaic swept around in an elliptic course in front of the east face of the Fort, delivering her fire as she passed — the closest range into which she came being estimated at seven hundred yards. Her turret and hull were struck several times, and with damaging effect. After receiving the concentrated fire of the Fort for thirty minutes, she rounded off and fired but few shot afterward, and soon moved out of range.

The three other vessels of the first line came up successively, and after remaining under fire about the same length of time, rounded off also at nearly the same point as the Passaic, and took but little part in the action afterward. The Passaic being armed with the nondescript machine for the removal of torpedoes supposed to have been sunk by the confederates, she was put forward and required to make the fiery passage first, whilst the other vessels followed as nearly in her track as possible. After passing round, they took up their positions at a distance of from one thousand one hundred to one thousand five hundred yards, where they kept up their fire until the whole fleet withdrew.


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