her heavy armor and big guns, was pounded into submission by the monitors Weehawken
, and surrendered after a stubborn defense.
The many attempts to gain possession of Charleston Harbor
, that were animated as much by sentimental reasons as they were dictated by military necessity, were crowned by at least one success.
Part of Morris Island
was evacuated by the Confederates
on September 7th.
The enfilading and breaching batteries in the swamps, together with the combined efforts of the ironclads and other vessels, had not succeeded in the reduction of Fort Sumter
Every kind of invention was tried by the inhabitants of Charleston
to raise the blockade.
Floating mines were sent out on the receding tides by the score; many were anchored at night in places where the day before the Federal
vessels had occupied vantage spots in the bombardment.
On September 6th it was that the New Ironsides
, directly off Fort Wagner
, lay over a huge mine whose two thousand pounds of powder would have been sufficient to have torn her in two.
On shore, the engineering officer who had placed the mine and laid the wires, surrounded by a large body of officers, was making every effort to produce the contact that would destroy the hostile ironclad.
It was all in vain.
By the most miraculous circumstances the wagons that had been driven along the beach to gather sand for the reenforcement of the parapet had rubbed off the insulation of the wires, and they would not work.
It was now that the invention of the torpedo-boat and the submergible came to be enforced on the attention of the public.
In all the history of any war there will be found no such record of continuous daring and almost certain death as is to be found in the story of the H. L. Hunley
, the first submarine boat.
This vessel, a cylindrical, cigar-shaped craft only thirty-five feet in length, could actually dive and be propelled under water and rise to the surface.
The motive power was furnished by the crew, who, sitting vis-à--vis
on benches, turned a crank