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[527] fired with rapidity and great precision. I saw, very distinctly, a large number of ten-inch shot from this battery strike the Keokuk, and also two of the monitor vessels, which alternately advanced to the front. They struck turrets, decks, and hull. The injury inflicted could not be accurately estimated, but I believe that it was severe. The officers of the garrison were cool, vigilant, and energetic, and the men were prompt, active, and thoroughly familiar with their duties. Lieutenant-Colonel Simkins overlooked the management of the battery, and I testify to his vigilance, skill and the energetic discharge of his duties. The firing I thought a little too rapid, but I have no doubt that in the end it subserved a good purpose. The storm of shot and bolts which fell around the enemy confused, if it did not appal him.

The Beauregard battery directed its fire with great precision against the Ironsides and the two monitors which were nearest to it. The shot of this battery struck those vessels repeatedly. The officers and men behaved with the highest coolness and gallantry.

Fort Moultrie was under General Trapier's own eye, and he can best tell how worthily she vindicated her historical reputation.

The companies of the Twentieth regiment South Carolina volunteers, which were upon the island, were drawn up to protect the upper batteries and to repel a land attack, if such were attempted. They were eager to join their brethren in arms in the conflict, but the prudent abstinence of the foe from an attempt to land prevented them. They were under command of Captain P. A. McMichael, Lieutenant-Colonel Dantzler having been invited by General Trapier to act as his special aid on the occasion; and, had a land attack been made, Lieutenant-Colonel Dantzler could easily have reached the portion of his regiment drawn up on the island, and have taken command of it, which he intended to do.

I have the honor to be, Captain,

Your obedient servant,

Lawrence M. Keitt, Colonel, commanding Post.
Official: William F. Nance, Assistant Adjutant-General.


headquarters First Military District S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, December 26th, 1862.
In case the proposed attack upon this harbor is known beforehand, special directions will be given for the service of the different batteries. As, however, it may happen that a surprise may be attempted, or that the intervening time between the knowledge of the intention and the event may be too short, the instructions hereinafter contained will be carefully attended to.

Each commanding officer of a fort or battery, will give his attention immediately to the strengthening of his carriages, and the complete preparation of his material. Besides making the proper requisitions on the staff departments, let him endeavor to do as much as possible from his own resources. While staff departments are, to a great extent, crippled, for want of material and workmen, much can be accomplished by ready expedients without their aid. Every carriage must be kept carefully screwed up, and if any are defective, made at least temporarily efficient. All the elevating screws, eccentric wheels, and traversing gear must be put in order, and kept so, and especial care must be taken to see that a full supply of small implements is constantly on hand.

Ammunition should be examined and immediately apportioned to the several guns, reference being had to the orders heretofore given on that subject; but where the quantity is not sufficient, the greater portion should be given to the heavier guns, as on them principally the success of the defence must depend.

Officers and men of each command must be kept on the alert, and instructed to go to battery, at once, upon an alarm; and especial care must be taken that each battery is in readiness for instant action as the men arrive at their guns.

It is hoped and believed that most of these things are habitually attended to, but as constant vigilance is our only security, they cannot be too forcibly insisted upon.

Upon observing a disposition to attack on the part of the enemy, the nearest fort or battery will give the alarm. By day a shotted gun, and dipping the flag, will communicate the danger to the other fortifications and headquarters. All commands will go at once to battery, and the circumstances of the alarm communicated to headquarters by telegraph or signal. By night, a shotted gun and a rocket will give the intelligence.

In whatever way the attack is made by the enemy, he is to be engaged as soon as possible to do so effectually, with a few long range guns from every fort that will bear. The number of these guns must be left to the discretion of the commanding officers, who must see that the fire is as accurate as possible. They must not engage too great a number, and be careful not unduly to excite their men, or strain their guns and carriages. While the long range fire is valuable, if accurate, to annoy the enemy, and force him to develop his attack, it is not to be depended on for more. Other things being equal, it will be well that the guns to leeward are first engaged. The remaining guns of the batteries will be trained by battery on different points where the enemy must pass, care being taken to have the fire of each battery concentrated. As the enemy approaches, let the distance he will be in passing be accurately estimated by the distance buoys, and the elevation made to correspond, making it too little rather than too great for direct fire. If the vessels are passing rapidly, the guns should be discharged by battery, just as the prows of the vessels come across the line of sight.

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J. H. Trapier (2)
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