Chapter 5: naval attack on Charleston.
On April 2, 1863, the Rear-Admiral
left Port Royal
to join the ‘ironclads,’ as the monitors were styled, at North Edisto
, and on the morning of the 5th left for Charleston Bar with all of them in tow of suitable vessels.
As previously arranged, on arrival, the Keokuk
, aided by Captain Boutelle
and Master Platt of the Coast Survey, sounded and buoyed the bar of the main ship channel, supported by the monitors Patapsco
This was soon accomplished, and before dark these two monitors anchored within.
At high tide on the following morning, the Admiral
came in on board of the New Ironsides, Commodore Thomas Turner
, and was followed by the five monitors yet outside, and by the Keokuk
He intended to proceed the same day to the attack of Fort Sumter
, and thence to the city of Charleston
, but the weather became so hazy that the ranges could not be seen and the pilots refused to go farther.
The state of the atmosphere prevented a satisfactory examination of an earthwork, known afterward as Fort Wagner
, on Morris Island
, distant about two thousand five hundred yards from Sumter
, of the batteries on Cumming's Point
, and of the heavy earthworks flanking Moultrie
The order of battle was ‘line ahead’ as follows: The Weehawken
, Captain John Rodgers
, with a raft on the bows