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[96] distance from Moultrie. A Xv-inch shell fired at Sumter was watched until it struck on the northeast face; the fort was covered with a mass of dust from the bursting shell, and the effect upon the masonry was plainly visible.

The opinion was expressed by her commander that a want of vision from the pilot-house was one of the most serious defects of that class of vessel, making it impossible to fight them advantageously, to avoid dangers, or to make a satisfactory reconnoissance. Owing to the breaking of the cap-square bolts of the rifle, that gun delivered only five shells; the Xv-inch fired the same number. The vessel was struck forty-seven times. Forty bolts of the smoke-stack were broken and a chain afterward put around it for security. The vessel was not disabled, but injuries were received which, if multiplied, would have disabled her.

The Catskill reports that at 2.50 the forts and batteries opened on the head of the line. The flag-ship (New Ironsides) becoming unmanageable from shoal water and strong tide, the Catskill passed her, and at 3.35 the first shot struck her. She approached within six hundred yards of Sumter, and one of her Xv-inch shells apparently dismounted a barbette gun. The cross fire to which she was subjected was most severe. The same obstructions reported by the four preceding vessels were observed. Surprise was expressed that the vessel suffered so much injury in so short a time. She was struck twenty times; one shot forward broke the deck-plates and deck-planking, and drove down the stanchion sustaining the beam, causing the deck to leak. She fired fifteen Xi-inch and eleven Xv-inch shells. No complaint as to the working of the turret or the battery.

The commander of the Nantucket, next in line, made the same general observations. The New Ironsides having signailed

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Catskill (New York, United States) (1)
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