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‘ [77] tow for Port Royal. The port battery was run in to heel the ship, to prevent inflow from shot-holes at the water-line.’1 Surgeon Gotwold and 19 men were killed and 20 wounded, the greater number of the casualties being caused by the steam.

The Housatonic, Captain William Rogers Taylor, senior officer present on the blockade, was at anchor farthest to the north and east, near Rattlesnake Shoal. The firing had been heard, but as it was a very usual occurrence, no apprehension of attack was entertained; the cause of the firing was conjectured to be due to an attempt to run the blockade. At early dawn the Housatonic got under way and shaped her course for three vessels, one of which was known as the Augusta, next in station on the line of blockade. Some time previous this vessel had made a night signal which was not understood. As the Housatonic proceeded, a black smoke was seen ahead, and as the light increased, ‘an ironclad ram bearing the Confederate flag’ was made out, steering toward the entrance of the harbor, and the Augusta was firing; later, another ram was seen to the southward and westward, also making for the harbor. The Housatonic was sheered in as near as the soundings would permit, and opened fire on the nearest ram, which deviated twice from her course in order to return the fire. The Housatonic was not struck, however, and it was supposed she had injured the pilot-house of the ram and shot away her flag-staff.

The rams entered Charleston Harbor, and were not seen until late in the afternoon, when the mist partially lifted and showed them at anchor in the Maffitt Channel, near Fort Moultrie, visible from the assigned anchorage of the Housatonic.

1 See Le Roy's Report.

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