previous next
‘ [136] directed their fire principally against Sumter, apparently with the intention of doing as much damage as possible. Nearly the whole of the eastern scarp was demolished. The accumulated debris served to protect the walls.’ Confederate reports show the steady destruction of Sumter and its armament, with little loss of life, until the evacuation of Morris Island, when its appearance from seaward was rather that of a steep, sandy island than of a fort.

On September 5th, General Ripley wrote a confidential letter to the officer commanding Fort Wagner, stating that it was ‘within the contingencies’ that those works would be evacuated. He alluded to the fact that at different times they had been supplied with safety-fuse. ‘This would be examined and kept in place, and magazines would be prepared for explosion before the evacuation takes place, by causing safety-fuses, three in number, to be inserted in a barrel of gunpowder in each magazine and carefully trained, so that the explosion may not be premature.’ Elaborate instructions follow; but they were carried out so indifferently as to be inoperative when the fort was evacuated. The commanding officer of the fort reported on the 6th that ‘thirty-six hours severe bombardment, confining the garrison to the bombproofs, had so dispirited the garrison as to render it unsafe, in the opinion of its officers, to repel an assault. The head of the enemy's sap was within forty yards of the salient, and he was making rapid progress, unmolested by a single gun, and with scarcely any annoyance from sharpshooters. In an effort the previous night to repair damages a loss was sustained of from 60 to 80 men in the working parties alone. Without having the ability to repair damages at night, from the effects of the fire of the shore batteries and the fleet, the work would be rendered untenable in two days.’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Morris Island (South Carolina, United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Wagner (1)
Ripley (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
September 5th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: