‘Each day, often from early dawn, the ‘New Ironsides’ or the monitors, sometimes all together, steamed up and delivered their terrific fire, shaking the fort to its centre. The noiseless Cohorn shells, falling vertically, searched out the secret recesses, almost invariably claiming victims. The burning sun of a Southern summer, its heat intensified by the reflection of the white sand, scorched and blistered the unprotected garrison, or the more welcome rain and storm wet them to the skin. An intolerable stench from the unearthed dead of the previous conflict, the carcasses of cavalry horses lying where they fell in the rear, and barrels of putrid meat thrown out on the beach sickened the defenders. A large and brilliantly colored fly, attracted by the feast and unseen before, inflicted wounds more painful though less dangerous than the shot of the enemy. Water was scarcer than whiskey. The food, however good when it started for its destination, by exposure, first, on the wharf in Charleston, then on the beach at Cumming's Point, being often forty-eight hours in transitu, was unfit to eat. The unventilated bombproofs, filled with smoke of lamps and smell of blood, were intolerable, so that one endured the risk of shot and shell rather than seek their shelter. The incessant din of its own artillery, as well as the bursting shell of the foe, prevented sleep. . . .’General Beauregard on September 4 ordered Sumter's garrison reduced to one company of artillery and two of infantry under Maj. Stephen Elliott. Early on the 5th
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