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[185] and thus an interior defence was completed which, though it separated more widely the salient and principal works of the defence, by substituting Johnson for Sumter, yet rendered access to the upper harbor far more difficult, because a more powerful fire was concentrated from additional batteries upon vessels attempting to enter.

And thus it was that, even after Morris Island was evacuated and Sumter dismantled, the fleet must still pass the fire of Moultrie and Bee to find itself in presence of a formidable earthwork, supported by continuous batteries, and commanding obstructions more difficult than any between Sumter and Moultrie.

The real nature of these obstructions was not suspected until the winter freshets had broken away and floated into our hands a fair specrmen of them, which were certainly far more formidable than had been anticipated.

So well do the rebels keep their counsel that the best informed refugees, who had been constantly engaged about the harbor, appeared to know as little about them as we did.

During the progress of the engineers towards Wagner the iron-clads played an important part, using their guns whenever an opportunity offered, as shown in the instances quoted. It may be readily conceived that, all things being equal, it was just as easy for the rebels to have worked towards our position as it was for our troops to work towards theirs. But there was a serious difference in the fact that the cannon of the iron-clads, and also of the gunboats, completely enfiladed the entire width of the narrow island, and absolutely interdicted any operation of the kind on the part of the rebels. In addition, whenever their fire was bearing severely on our own workmen, a request from the General always drew the fire of the vessels; and I do not know that it failed to be effective in any instance.

As a consequence the rebels were restricted to Wagner, and were powerless to hinder the progress of the trenches that were at last carried into the very ditch of the work, and decided its evacuation without assault.

The day before the contemplated assault, I led in the iron-clads in force, as agreed on, and battered the fort all day, tearing it into a sand heap.

The next morning it was to have been stormed, but the enemy had fled they foresaw the inevitable result.

The vessels thus shared fully with the army in the operation that led to the abandonment of the works on Morris Island, and besides what is already mentioned, prevented the access of reenforcements, or their accumulation between Wagner and Gregg.

The boats of the squadron were also engaged on picket duty by night along the sea shore of Morris Island, and the.little stream on its inner border.

A detachment of seamen and marines, under Captain Parker, participated in the practice of the batteries at Fort Sumter, by working four navy rifle cannons, landed for the purpose.

The duties of the iron-clads were not performed under idle batteries. The guns of Wagner never failed to open on them, and fired until their crews were driven, by those of our iron-clads, to take shelter in the bomb-proofs. One of these cannon, a ten-inch, left deep dents on every turret, that will not easily be effaced.

The operations of the iron-clads against Morris Island were appropriately closed by a severe contest with Fort Moultrie, Batteries Bee, Beauregard, &c., to relieve the Weehawken, which had grounded under their fire, and was finally got off with some severe injuries, owing to the falling tide having exposed the hull under the overhang.

There were other occasions when severe conflicts occurred with the rebel works on Sullivan's Island.

And besides the principal attacks in force, there were few days from the first attack on Morris Island (July ten) to its evacuation (September seven) that some iron-clads or gunboats were not engaged in firing at the enemy's works, so as to facilitate the labor of our troops ashore, as will be perceived by the following sample from the record:

date.object.vessels engaged.
July 18Assault on WagnerMontauk, (flag,) Ironsides, Catskill, Nantucket, Weehawken, Patapsco; gunboats Paul Jones, Ottawa, Seneca, Chippewa, Wissahickon.
July 22WagnerNantucket, Ottawa, (gunboat.)
July 23Wagner, to cover advanceWeehawken, (flag,) Ironsides, Catskill, Montauk, Patapsco, Nantucket; gunboats Paul Jones, Seneca, Ottawa, Dai-Ching.
July 25WagnerGunboats Ottawa, Dai-Ching, Paul Jones.
July 28WagnerWeehawken, Catskill, Ottawa, (gunboat.)
July 29WagnerIronsides, Patapsco.
July 30WagnerIronsides, Catskill, Patapsco, Ottawa, (gunboat.)
July 31Rebel batteries on Morris IslandOttawa, (gunboat.)
Aug. 1WagnerMontauk, Patapsco, Catskill, Weekawken, Passaic, Nahant, Marblehead, (gunboat.)
Aug. 2WagnerOttawa, Marblehead, (gunboats.)
Aug. 4WagnerMontauk, Marblehead, (gunboats.)
Aug. 6WagnerMarblehead, (gunboat.)
Aug. 8WagnerOttawa, Marblehead, Mahaska, (gunboats.)
Aug. 11Wagner and vicinityPatapsco, Catskill.
Aug. 13Rebel batteries on Morris IslandGunboats Dai-Ching, Ottawa, Mahaska, Wissahickon, Racer.
Aug. 14Rebel batteries on Morris IslandGunboats Wissahickon, Mahaska, Ottawa, Dai-Ching, Racer, Dan. Smith.
Aug. 15WagnerMortar-boats Racer, Dan. Smith.
Aug. 17Rebel batteries on Morris Island, to direct fire from our batteries which opened on SumterWeehawken, Ironsides, Montauk, Nahant, Catskill, Passaic, Patapsco; gunboats Canandaigua, Mahaska, Ottawa, Cimarron, Wissahickon, Dai-Ching, Lodona.
Aug. 18Wagner, to prevent assaultIronsides, Passaic, Weehawken; gunboats Wissahickon, Mahaska, Dai-Ching, Ottawa, Lodona.
Aug. 19WagnerIronsides.
Aug. 20Rebel batteries on Morris IslandIronsides; gunboats Mahaska, Ottawa, Dai-Ching, Lodona.
Aug. 21Sumter and WagnerIronsides, Patapsco; gunboats Mahaska, Dai-Ching.
Aug. 22WagnerWeehawken, Ironsides; gunboat Montauk.
Aug. 23SumterWeehawken, Montauk, Passaic, Patapsco, Nahant.
Sept. 1Sumter and obstructionsWeehawken, Montauk, Passaic, Patapsco, Nahant, Lehigh.
Sept. 5Between Sumter and GreggLehigh, Nahant.
Sept. 6Wagner and GreggIronsides, Weehawken, Montauk, Passaic, Patapsco, Nahant, Lehigh.
Sept. 7Batteries on Sullivan's IslandIronsides, Patapsco, Lehigh, Nahant, Montauk Weehawken, (ashore.)
Sept. 8Batteries on Sullivan's IslandIronsides, Patapsco, Lehigh, Nahant, Montauk, Weehawken, (ashore.)

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