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[257] mothers and daughters of our noble old city, against whom (for it was meant for no others to suffer by it) the atrocious demand was made had the effect to increase, if that were possible, the deep feeling of disgust and revenge that I already harbored in my breast, from witnessing on Saterday morning the unprecedented act that he threatened, actually performed. And now, before God, I vow that if such an act is repeated, and I am ever placed in a situation to take revenge, I shall neither give nor ask quarter, but slaughter every wretch that comes within my power. I know this is a change from the views and principles that I have heretofore entertained; but my principles can have no force when my feelings are so touched. Such an act forewarns us what we may expect at the hands of General Gilmore; and, while it demonstrates his brutality, it demonstrates still more his weakness and recklessness, and however well he has seemingly conducted affairs in this attack, I venture to predict that he is not a man of ability. Beauregard's reply everybody considers excellent. The General can write if he can't fight. The enemy's battery in the marsh, from which the shots were fired on the city, can be seen plainly from here, and has only one gun mounted, and at such a distance (five miles) no one thinks that it can injure the city materially. We cannot imagine any other object that General Gilmore could have had, save malicious spite. He could not have supposed that by firing on the city he would compel the surrender of Morris's Island and Sumter. He is chagrined that he cannot, with his all-powerful combined force, make two poor little batteries crumble before him; that Sumter, though knocked to pieces, still continued to show fight; and that he has expended on the latter alone 100,000 pounds of powder and 1,000,000 pounds of wrought iron. But, though he cannot boast of having whipped us at all, much less in six hours, he cannot injure us much more than he has already.

I told you in my last that we had but one serviceable gun. Since then, however, we have rigged up two others that were disabled, which, though the parapet is knocked away in front of both, we expect to fight in case the Ironclads try us again. Colonel Rhett has fully equalled our expectations, as regards being a cool, collected, brave man, and he has certainly acted well in this affair. The Generals tried to make him shoulder the responsibility of abandoning the Fort, the other day, by endeavoring to induce him to say the Fort was untenable; to which he replied that he intended to hold the Fort until he received orders, and that if they refused, on his applying, to give him any, he would then not sacrifice his garrison,

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Morris Island (South Carolina, United States) (1)
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William Gilmore (2)
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