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[519] therefore it may be accepted as shown, that these vaunted monitor batteries, though formidable engines of war, after all, are not invulnerable or invincible, and may be destroyed or defeated by heavy ordnance, properly placed and skilfully handled; in reality they have not materially altered the military relations of forts and ships.

On this occasion the monitors operated under the most favorable circumstances. The day was calm; and the water, consequently, was as stable as of a river. Their guns were fired with deliberation, doubless by trained artillerists. According to the enemy's statements, the fleet fired one hundred and fifty-one shots, eight of which were ascribed to the New Ironsides, three to the Keokuk, and but nine to the Passaic, which was so badly damaged. Not more than thirty-four shots took effect on the walls of Fort Sumter--a broad mark — which, with the number of discharges, suggests that the monitor arrangement, as yet, is not convenient for accuracy or celerity of fire.

Fort Moultrie and other batteries were not touched, in a way to be considered, while in return they threw one thousand three hundred and ninety-nine shots. At the same time, Fort Sumter discharged eight hundred and ten shots; making the total number of shots fired two thousand two hundred and nine, of which the enemy reports that five hundred and twenty struck the different vessels — a most satisfactory accuracy, when the smallness of the target is considered. This precision was due not only to the discipline and practice of the garrison engaged, but in no slight degree to an invention of Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph A. Yates, First regiment South Carolina artillery, which had been applied to many of our best guns, and which shall, as fast as possible, be arranged for all the heavy ordnance in the department. By this felicitous device, our guns were easily held trained upon the monitors, although the latter were constantly in movement, and this with but five men at the heaviest pieces. The reports of the engineers (herewith) will show the precise extent of the damage inflicted on Fort Sumter. It is sufficient for me to say, that at the time the enemy quit these waters, the work was capable of resisting as formidable an attack as the one it had just foiled.

For the casualties of the day (so slight), I must refer you to the reports herewith. Too much praise cannot be given to the officers and men, in all the works engaged, for their spirit, gallantry, and discipline, which, indeed, I had a right to expect, from the high soldierly condition into which these garrisons had been brought by their officers. My expectations were fully realized; and the country, as well as the State of South Carolina, may well be proud of the men who first met and vanquished the iron-mailed, terribly armed armada, so confidently prepared, and sent forth by the enemy to certain and easy victory.

To the professional resources, skill as an artillery officer, intelligent and indefatigable zeal and assiduity of Brigadier-General Ripley, commanding the First military district, and specially charged with the defence of the harbor, much is due for the completeness of the defence, and the proud results of the seventh of April. He was ably seconded by his subordinate commanders, whose services he has fitly noticed in his own report. To Colonel A. J. Gonzales, Chief of Ordnance and Artillery, and Major D. B. Harris, Chief Engineer, and Major W. H. Echols. Provisional Engineer corps, and their several assistants, I return my thanks, for valuable services in their respective departments.

I have also to record my obligations to the Honorable William Porcher Miles, representative in Congress, for constantly exerted services, in securing for the defence of Charleston so many of the heaviest guns wielded so effectually.

The Confederate States iron-clad ships, Palmetto State and Chicora, under the command of Captain J. R. Tucker, C. S. N., as soon as the enemy advanced to the attack, took their positions (previously arranged), ready to perform their part in the conflict, at the opportune moment.

On the day after the combat, Flag Officer Lynch, C. S. N., arrived here from North Carolina, with an effective detachment of sailor artillerists, to tender service in any battery. He was assigned to a most responsible position — Cummins' Point battery--but was in three days thereafter recalled by the Navy Department.

The flags and trophies sent herewith were taken from the wreck of the Keokuk, by Lieutenant W. T. Glassell, C. S. N. The more material trophies, two eleven-inch Dahlgren pieces, now in battery, were recovered, under the supervision of General Ripley, by the mechanical resources and energy of Mr. Adolphus Lacoste, employee of the district ordnance department, assisted by parties from the garrison of Fort Sumter, under command of Lieutenant S. C. Boyleston, and Lieutenants J. M. Rhett and K. Kemper, First South Carolina artillery.

The enemy's land forces, collected in considerable strength on Seabrook Island, and in the transports in North Edisto River, and on Folly, Coles, and other islands about the mouth of the Stono River inlet, made no attempt to co-operate actively with the naval attack.

In conclusion, I shall avail myself of the occasion to give, as my opinion, that the best, the easiest way to render Fort Sumter impregnable would be to arm, conformably to its original plan, both tiers of casemates and the barbette, with the heaviest guns, rifled or smooth-bore, that can be made.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. Beauregard, General, commanding.

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