near the appointed time, the report of a gun was heard, and a shell was seen coming from the Fort Johnson battery.
The firing soon became general.
All of the batteries bearing on Sumter
on Sullivan's Island
, Morris Island
, Mount Pleasant
, and James Island
commenced pounding away.
The bombardment was grand.
made no reply till some time after daylight.
He then sent his salutations to the iron battery near Cummings Point
Very soon after, all of the casemate guns bearing on any of our works opened, and continued without cessation through the day. There had been much discussion and a good deal of doubt expressed in military circles as to whether he would be able to use his casemates.
It was said that in all probability the concussion from his heavy guns would cause the blood to gush from the noses and ears of his men, and that he would be forced to depend on his parapet battery.
It soon became very evident that there was nothing in that opinion.
The guns on the parapet were not used.
All of the firing was done from the casemates.
Not a shell was seen to come from the Fort
If any were used they did not burst, and were not, in their flight, distinguishable from solid shot.
I have never heard any satisfactory reason for this peculiarity of Major Anderson
It was said at the time that there were no fuses in the magazine of the Fort
It does not seem possible that the able and scientific corps of officers in charge of Sumter
could not have manufactured fuses.
That there was nobody killed on our side is entirely owing to the fact that nothing but solid shot was used by the enemy.
Very few of our batteries afforded much protection to the gunners.
In fact, they were safe in none except the iron battery.
Any of the Wee Nees
who were in Fort Wagner
with me in 1863 know that had Anderson
used shell as effectively as did Dahlgren
, our batteries on Morris Island
, and some of them on James Island
and Sullivan's Island
, would have been almost untenable.
About ten o'clock on the morning of the 12th, the fleet hove in sight.
We felt sure that our turn to take a hand in the fray had come.
The Wee Nees were anxious for a fight, and were disappointed when the vessels anchored beyond the reach of our guns.
I do not think that any of the guns of Sumter
were aimed at us, though some of the balls fired at the batteries nearer to Cummings Point
came uncomfortably near to us—so near, indeed, as to interfere with my dinner on that day. When I reprimanded my faithful servant, James
, for his delay of the meal, he excused himself because the balls had come so near.
When I told him, with a little impatience,