previous next

Doc. 8.--forts Sumter and Moultrie.

In order to ascertain truthful statements of the actual damage done to the forts, of the causes of the movement, and of the state of affairs generally, reporters were despatched to the scene during the forenoon. On the way across the harbor, the hoisting of the American flag from the staff of Fort Sumter, at precisely 12 o'clock, gave certain indication that the stronghold was occupied by the troops of the United States. On a nearer approach the fortress was discovered to be occupied, the guns appeared to be mounted, and sentinels were discovcred on duty, and the place to give every sign of occupancy and military discipline. The grim fortress frowined defiance on every side; the busy notes of preparation resounded through its unforbidding recesses, and everything seenied to indicate the utmost alacrity in the work on hand.

Turning towards Fort Moultrie, a dense cloud of smoke was seen to pour from the end facing the sea. Tlie flagstaff was down, and the whole place had an air of desolation and abandonment quite the reverse of its busy look one week ago, when scores. of laborers were engaged ill adding to its strength all the works skill and experience could suggest.

In the immediate vicinity of the rear or landside entrance, however, greater activity was noticeable. At the time of our visit, a large force of hands had been summoned to deliver up their implements for transportation to Fort Sumter. Around on every side were the evidences of labor in the fortification of the work. In many places, a portion of tihe defences were strengthened by every appliance that art could suggest or ingenuity do [9] vise; while, in others, the uncompleted works gave evidences of the utmost confusion. On all hands the process of removing goods, furniture, and munitions was yet going on. The heavy guns upon the ramparts of the fort were thrown down from their carriages and spiked. Every ounce of powder and every cartridge had been removed from the magazines; and, in fact, every thing like small arms, clothing, provisions, accoutrements, and other munitions of war had been removed off and deposited — nothing but heavy balls and useless cannon remained.

The entire place was, to all appearances, littered up with the odds, ends, and fragments of war's desolation. Confusion could not have been more complete had the late occupants retired in the face of a besieging foe. Fragments of gun carriages, &c., broken to pieces, bestrewed the ramparts. Sand bags, and barrels filled with earth, crowned the walls, and were firmly imbedded in their bomb-proof proof surface, as an additional safeguard — and notwithstanding the heterogeneous scattering of materials and implements, the walls of the fort evinced a vague degree of energy in preparing for an attack. A ditch some fifteen feet wide and about the same in depth surrounds the entire wall on three sides. On the south side, or front, a glacis has been commenced menced and prosecuted nearly to completion, with a rampart of sand bags, barrels, &c.

On one side of the fort a palisade of Palmetto logs is extended around the ramparts as a complete defence against an escalading party. New embrasures have been cut in the walls so as to command the faces of the bastion and ditch. These new defences fences are all incomplete, and are evidence of the haste with which they were erected. Considering the inferior force, in point of numbers, under his command, Major Anderson had paid particular attention to strengthening only a small part of the fort.

A greater portion of the labor expended was spent upon the citadel or centre of the west point of the position. This he had caused to be strengthened in every way; loop-holes were cut and every thing was so arranged that in case a well-concerted attack was made, he would have retired from the outer bastions to the citadel, and afterwards blow up the other portions of the fort. For this purpose mines had already been sprung, and trains had been laid ready for the application of the match. The barrack rooms and every other part of the fort that was indefensible would have gone at a touch.

On the ramparts of the fort fronting Fort Sumter, were nine eight-inch columbiads, mounted on wooden carriages. As soon as the evacuation of the fort was complete, the carriages of these guns were fired, and at the time of visiting the fort yesterday, were nearly consumed, and the guns thereby dismounted. These guns, as well as those constituting the entire armament of the fortress, were spiked before it was abandoned. This is the only damage done the fortification, further than cutting down the flagstaff, and the breaking up of ammunition nition wagons to form ramparts on the walls of the fort.

--Charleston Courier, Dec. 28.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (1)
Palmetto (Florida, United States) (1)
Fort Moultrie (South Carolina, United States) (1)
Charleston (South Carolina, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Doc (1)
Robert Anderson (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
December 28th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: