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Heroic sacrifices at Charleston

It would have been almost sacrilege to retouch in any way the dim and faded photographs from which these pictures were made. Taken by a Confederate photographer at Charleston in the early part of the war, long lost to view, they preserve sights that inspired the men and women of the South with an intensity of purpose rarely exampled in history. In the upper picture is the famous floating battery built by subscription by the women of Charleston. Its guns were first fired in the attack on Fort Sumter that began the war. From that time forth every nerve was being strained by the Confederacy to put an ironclad flotilla in commission. South Carolina was conspicuous in its efforts to this end. Flag-Officer Duncan N. Ingraham superintended the navy-yard at Charleston and under his direction the “Palmetto State” and the “Chicora” were built. The keel of the latter was laid behind the Charleston post-office in March, 1862, and she was launched the following August. Five hundred tons of iron were required for her armor and the country was scoured by willing searchers for every scrap of metal that could be melted up. On January 31, 1863, the “Chicora” and the “Palmetto State” suddenly came down from Charleston and disabled both the “Mercedita” and the “Keystone State,” receiving the former's surrender.

The floating battery and the “Chicora

The C. S.S. Chicora.


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