The fact that no telegrams have been received in the city from Charleston
during the week has led croakers to give forth the mournful predictions of the "impending fall" of that place with stupid pertinacity.
They were quite sure that the Government
had news of terrible import, which it refused to divulge.--We have from the Charleston
papers a partial answer to these jeremiads.
are as busy as beavers on Morris's Island
, but Charleston
has not fallen yet. On Monday two wooden gunboats commenced shelling battery Wagner.
The three monitors, which were lying behind a point near the lower end of Morris's Island
, kept very quiet throughout the day. Our batteries (Gregg and Wagner) and Fort Sumter
responded slowly and at long intervals to the enemy's fire.
One shot from Sumter
is reported to have struck the enemy's observatory, erected on Craig's Hill
, Morris's Island
have an immense derrick, and are reported placing more guns in position, fortifying, Craig's Hill
, and also Black's Island
, between Morris's
and James's Islands
, of which they are reported in possession.
About 8 o'clock in the evening the steamer Gabriel Manigault
, lying in a creek between Morris's
and James's Islands
, was burnt by the enemy's shells.
Of the operations on Tuesday the Courier
gives the following summary.
The exchange of shots between the Yankee gunboats and our batteries on Tuesday, was kept up at long intervals until the afternoon, when the firing became more rapid.
continued to throw shells with effect at the Yankee
working party on Craig's Hill
An officer from battery Wagner, who arrived last night, reported the enemy throwing up rifle pits and entrenchments.
Their working parties are plainly visible, both on Craig's Hill
and Black's Island
. Four mortar boats were observed for the first time Tuesday inside the channel, one of them seemingly placed in a position to cover their working parties.
The monitors, four in number, were lying close in shore, apparently receiving a fresh supply of ammunition.
An additional number of transports are reported to have arrived Tuesday There were no casualties at the batteries yesterday.
The Governor of South Carolina
has issued a proclamation calling for 3,000 negroes to work on the fortifications.
He says the need for them is pressing.
The Charleston Courier
thinks the city is in imminent peril, and to save it the Yankees
must be driven off Morris's Island
From an interesting editorial in that paper on the "situation" we make the following extracts:
We mean not either to censure our military authorities or to dictate or embarrass their movements.
On the contrary, our honest and earnest desire and purpose are to encourage, stimulate, strengthen and sustain them.
With all proper deference and respect, then, we say to them that our people are fully up to the exigency of the times, and stand ready, at any and every hazard and cost, to second them in a brave and determined effort to drive the enemy back into the ocean from their strongholds on Morris's
and Folly Islands
If the safety of Charleston
be involved in such a movement, there should be no hesitation in making the attempt.
Let us do all that may become men whose liberties and lives, whose homes and altars, and all that is dear to them, as fathers, brothers, and husbands, are staked on the momentous issue.
The fall of Charleston
involves consequences which we shudder to contemplate.
With her capture the whole State would soon be at the mercy of the foe, and the great cause of Southern independence would be put, in fearful jeopardy.
Nothing but a guerilla warfare for the Southern
and Southwestern portion of the Confederacy
, if not for its whole extent, would then be left us, in manifestation of our undying and unconquerable determination never to submit to Yankee rule.
Let us, then, resolve to defend our beloved and time honored city to the last extremity.
First let us make every possible human effort to wrest the adjacent islands from the enemy, and enable Sumter
and our other harbor fortresses, with our steam rams, to keep the vandals at bay. Failing in this, and even should Sumter
become untenable, then let us resolve on a Saragossa defence of our city, manning and defending every wharf — fighting from street to street and house to house — and, if failing to achieve success, yielding nothing but smoking ruins and mangled bodies as the spoil of the ruthless conqueror.
fall, life will be no longer worth living; let us then freely peril life in her defence, and resolutely devote her to destruction sooner than yield her undemolished, as a trophy and flourishing sea port, to the accursed foe. We once advocated a different policy — we were once for capitulation, in preference to self-sought or self-inflicted desolation.
But we then mistakenly thought we had to encounter an enemy bound by the rules of civilized warfare.
The mask is now thrown aside; New Orleans, Nashville
, and Memphis
have taught us what we have to expect from the tender mercies of our unprincipled foe, and we know that our subjugation involves submission to a vile and atrocious despotism, to worse than savage barbarities, to degradation and insult, (sparing neither age, sex, nor condition,) and to the galling infamy of servile domination.
Let us, then, bid destruction and extermination welcome, sooner than succumb to Yankee dominion and all its nameless enormities; and, if Charleston
must fall, let her, although in ruin, yet live as the most glorious monument of self defence ever recorded in history, covering her defenders with immortal glory and her vandal conquerors with undying infamy.
We are among those who cherish the confident hope that the enemy will be miserably unsuccessful in executing the plans he is at present working so vigorously and resolutely to carry out. We expect him to be punished severely if he persists in the undertaking.
But we may be disappointed.
Our hope may prove a delusion.
The result the timid and despondent predict may transpire.
The capture of our city may perchance delight his base and corrupt heart.
In case that frightful calamity fall upon us, they who remain here must suffer grievous evils.
The woes they will have poured out upon them will be far heavier than those under which the citizens of New Orleans and Nashville
, and Memphis
have groaned; for the vile foe hates the people of this State with a tenfold more bitter hatred than he entertains for the inhabitants of any other section, and he will not spare us when he comes as conqueror.
On the supposition of the foe's success, it is our duty to avoid incurring his fiendish malignity.
All who can be of no service in the work of defence should betake themselves to places of shelter.
And it were well not to defer removal to a late day. We may be compelled to remain, or, if we make good our escape, circumstances may oblige us to leave all our personal effects behind.
We should also consider that our city is going to make a fierce and determined resistance.
If the enemy gets it he will have to take it. No flag of truce boat will meet him mid way between the wharves and Fort Sumter
in order to effect a surrender.
We are going to fight till we are driven from street to street, and continue to fight while we are retreating.
So determined a resistance involves immense injury to our fair city, at the hands of the enemy.
It will be little better than a heap of ruins, even though the work of destruction is not insured by military order.
We repeat that we are of opinion that the present attack will result as the other attacks have done, and even more disastrously to the mean and wicked foe. But is it not proper to prepare for the worst?
If we are forced to defend our city after the manner we have resolved to defend it, the women and children and aged men who tarry too long would suffer misiries infinitely greater than they will have to hear during their temporary exile.
It behooves us to give this subject serious and profound consideration.
If the enemy is forced to abandon the effort he is making to gain possession of our city, we can return to our homes in a short time.
If he is successful — which God forbid!--we will have avoided privations and woes of which we can now form no adequate conception.
Let us take counsel of prudence.
The citizens of Charleston
are furnishing cooked rations to the troops on Morris's Island
The foreigners in that city who refuse to fight are not sent North to their Yankee friends.
Here is the way they are served:
We learn that not more than six or seven of all the employees at the Arsenal refused to join any company, and Major Tresevant
, commandant of the Arsenal, quickly sent these, with their "foreign protection papers," to Major Perryman
, our new enrolling officer, who as quickly forwarded them to Morris's Island
, where "ditching" is going on, and "foreign papers" are not respected.