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[336]

When peace dwelt again upon Fort Sumter: the crumbled walls from the sand bar—1865 A spectator before that irregular pile of debris might never imagine that in 1861 Fort Sumter was a formidable work. Its walls then rose to a height of forty feet above high-water. Constructed of the best Carolina gray brick, laid in a mortar of pounded oyster-shells and cement, their thickness of five to ten feet made the stronghold seem impregnable. Despite the appearance in the picture, it proved so. The attack that began the war did very little damage, beyond the burning of the barracks. Two years later, Rear-Admiral Samuel F. Du Pont led a naval attack that was expected to capture the Fort with little delay; yet the heavy bombardment made almost no impression. The ironclad that was nearest Sumter, the Keokuk, struck ninety times, was so badly injured that it sank the next morning. The Weehawken was hit fifty-three times; the Passaic thirty-five times, the Montauk fourteen times, the Patapsco, the fourth vessel in line, forty-seven times; and so on through the entire fleet. The fort, on the other hand, was hardly injured. At one point, where an 11-inch and a 15-inch shell struck at the same point at the same time, the wall was completely breached: on the outside

 

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