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Deck of the “Catskill” --the leader of the great bombardment On July 10, 1863, under Commander George W. Rodgers, and with Rear-Admiral Dahlgren's flag floating above her, the “Catskill” steamed across the bar into Charleston Harbor and opened fire on Fort Wagner on Morris Island. She was followed by the “Montauk,” “Nahant,” and “Weehawken,” and immediately all the Confederate batteries in Charleston Harbor spoke out their terrific thunder. The “Catskill” was no stranger to that battle-ground; she had seen her first service in Admiral Du Pont's squadron that had failed to silence the defenses of Charleston the preceding April. Now came her supreme test under Admiral Dahlgren. As his flagship she became the especial target. A large percentage of the sixty hits were very severe. Yet the brave men in the turret coolly fired their guns, almost oblivious to the heavy shot that was raining upon their armor. Her pilot-house was broken entirely through by one shot, while her side armor and deck-plates were pierced in many places, making the entrance of the water troublesome. But the “Catskill,” after firing 128 rounds, came out of action in good working order. On August 17th Commander Rodgers, while maneuvering for a closer berth in the attack on Fort Wagner, was killed in the pilot-house.

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George W. Rodgers (2)
John A. Dahlgren (2)
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