|Inside a Confederate “water battery,” Pensacola harbor, in 1861: this and the following three photographs were taken within the Confederate lines in 1861 This vivid view of great events in the making reveals the green Confederate volunteers without uniforms and still inexperienced. They show more enthusiasm than efficiency as they awkwardly handle the guns. It was not long before these quickly recruited gunners had become expert enough to give a good account of themselves. On November 22 and 23, 1861, they sustained and replied to a bombardment by the United States vessels Niagara and Richmond and by Fort Pickens and the neighboring Union batteries. Although Fort McRee was so badly injured that General Bragg entertained the idea of abandoning it, the plan of the Union commanders to “take and destroy it” was not executed. Time and again when the Federal blockading fleet threatened various points along the Confederate coast, requisitions were sent for these guns, but they were always needed in this fort. At the outset of the Civil War not a gun or gun-carriage, and, excepting during the Mexican War, not a round of ammunition had been prepared in the States of the Confederacy for fifty years. They were forced to improvise all of the vast paraphernalia necessary for war.|
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