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[101] of a collision with two of the monitors. She did not get nearer to Fort Sumter than 1,000 yards.1

Owing to the condition of the tide and unavoidable accidents, the vessels were not engaged until late in the day, and toward evening, finding no impression made upon the fort, signal was given for the vessels to withdraw, with the intention of renewing the attack the following morning. The commanders of the monitors came on board during the evening, and stated verbally the injuries the vessels had received, when without hesitation the Admiral determined not to renew the attack, as in his judgment it would have converted a failure into a disaster. He stated that in his opinion Charleston could not be taken by a purely naval attack, and the army could not give co-operation. Had he succeeded in entering the harbor, he would have had 1,200 men, with 32 guns; but five of the seven ironclads were wholly or partially disabled after a brief engagement. He had alluded above only to Forts Sumter and Moultrie, but the vessels were also exposed to the fire of the batteries on Cummings Point, Mount Pleasant, the Redan, and Fort Beauregard.

In a more detailed report to the Department, dated April 15th, Admiral Dupont gives with particularity the fire delivered by the vessels engaged and the injuries sustained by them, and adds, that in his belief any attempt to pass through the obstructions referred to would have entangled the vessels and held them under the most severe fire of heavy ordnance that had ever been delivered, and while it was barely possible that some vessels might have forced their way through, it would only have been to be again impeded

1 Confederate accounts state that no monitor approached nearer than 600 yards to the rope obstructions, which is probably an error, as they turned in line, and at such distance as in a strong tide seemed necessary to clear them. They estimated the nearest approach of the Ironsides at 1,800 yards.

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Mount Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa (Iowa, United States) (1)
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Samuel Francis Dupont (1)
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April 15th (1)
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