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August 23rd (search for this): chapter 1.8
arly the entire length of the face completely demolished, and in places everything was swept off down to the arches, the debris forming an accessible ramp to the top of the ruins. The demolition of the fort at the close of this day's firing (August 23d) was complete so far as its offensive powers were considered. Every gun upon the parapet was either dismounted or seriously damaged. The parapet could be seen in many places both on the sea and channel faces completely torn away from the terry in October I mounted in the north-east casemates two 10-inch Columbiads and one 7-inch rifle. In January one 8-inch and two 7-inch rifles were mounted in the north-west casemates. The seven days service of the breaching batteries, ending August 23d, left Fort Sutter in the condition of a mere infantry outpost, without the power to fire a gun heavier than a musket, alike incapable of annoying our approaches to Battery Wagner, or of inflicting injury upon the fleet. In this condition it re
hem in charge, met with a cheerful response. From the concurrent testimony, written and oral, thus procured, it appears that there were no channel obstructions or torpedoes in 1863 and 1864 that would be expected to prevent or even seriously retard the passage of a fleet up to Charleston city and above it, or likely to afford any effective protection in the event of an actual attack; that the main channel next Fort Sumter was never obstructed by torpedoes or otherwise until the winter of 1864-65, a few months before the close of the war, and that at no time was the condition of this auxiliary means of channel defense any better, or its efficiency any more to be relied on to stop or delay the entrance of a hostile fleet, than at the time the city and its defenses were evacuated in February, 1865. General Beauregard, in correcting what he calls errors in the preliminary official dispatch sent from the field, takes exception to the statement therein made that Battery Wagner was a most
January 1st (search for this): chapter 1.8
, We have not a gun en barbette that can be fired; only one gun and casemate. General Stephen Elliott, C. S. A., writes as follows: When I assumed command of Fort Sumter on the 4th of September, 1863, there were no guns in position except one 32-pounder in one of the north-west casemates. This gun was merely used for firing at sunset, and was not intended for any other purpose. Early in October I mounted in the north-east casemates two 10-inch Columbiads and one 7-inch rifle. In January one 8-inch and two 7-inch rifles were mounted in the north-west casemates. The seven days service of the breaching batteries, ending August 23d, left Fort Sutter in the condition of a mere infantry outpost, without the power to fire a gun heavier than a musket, alike incapable of annoying our approaches to Battery Wagner, or of inflicting injury upon the fleet. In this condition it remained for about six weeks. A desultory fire was kept up to prevent repairs, and on the 30th of August an
February, 1865 AD (search for this): chapter 1.8
above it, or likely to afford any effective protection in the event of an actual attack; that the main channel next Fort Sumter was never obstructed by torpedoes or otherwise until the winter of 1864-65, a few months before the close of the war, and that at no time was the condition of this auxiliary means of channel defense any better, or its efficiency any more to be relied on to stop or delay the entrance of a hostile fleet, than at the time the city and its defenses were evacuated in February, 1865. General Beauregard, in correcting what he calls errors in the preliminary official dispatch sent from the field, takes exception to the statement therein made that Battery Wagner was a most formidable kind of work, and claims that it was an ordinary field-work, with thick parapet and ditches of little depth. To this it may be said that within certain limits, embracing all works of the Battery Wagner type and many others, the elements of defensive strength are determined more by the
September 4th, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 1.8
ease, having been continuously sustained for seven days. There had been thrown 5009 projectiles, of which about one-half had struck the fort. Colonel Alfred Rhett, C. S. A., commanding Fort Sumter, reports, August 24th, One 11-inch Dahlgren, east face, the only gun serviceable ; and on September 1st, We have not a gun en barbette that can be fired; only one gun and casemate. General Stephen Elliott, C. S. A., writes as follows: When I assumed command of Fort Sumter on the 4th of September, 1863, there were no guns in position except one 32-pounder in one of the north-west casemates. This gun was merely used for firing at sunset, and was not intended for any other purpose. Early in October I mounted in the north-east casemates two 10-inch Columbiads and one 7-inch rifle. In January one 8-inch and two 7-inch rifles were mounted in the north-west casemates. The seven days service of the breaching batteries, ending August 23d, left Fort Sutter in the condition of a mere
October 26th (search for this): chapter 1.8
e 8-inch Parrott rifle, previously referred to as the Swamp Angel, opened fire on the night of August 21st. The gun burst on the second night at the thirty-sixth round. Some of the projectiles reached a distance of about five and three-quarter miles. Firing on the city was subsequently resumed from Cumming's Point. Fort Sumter was subjected to another severe cannonade of some days' duration, The bombardment continued forty days and nights without intermission.--editors. beginning October 26th, directed mainly against the south-east face, on a report from deserters, afterward found to be untrue, that the garrison was remounting guns thereon. In a short time that face was more completely a ruin than the gorge wall. Throughout the length of both those faces the debris formed a practicable ramp from the water to the summit of the breach. This ended all aggressive operations against the defenses of Charleston, The author doubtless refers to operations conducted by himself,
February 18th, 1865 AD (search for this): chapter 1.8
ommand of the defense, recently stated that he had under his control 385 pieces of artillery of all calibers, including field-batteries, and an ample force of skilled men to serve them. When the position was evacuated by the Confederates, February 18th, 1865, 246 guns were left behind in the several works. The James Island defenses were especially strong. They had repulsed a bold and spirited assault upon them from the Stono River side, made by forces under General H. W. Benham, on the 16tt a few harmless barrels floating on the water, reported the entire channel to be literally filled with fixed and floating obstructions and subaqueous mines and torpedoes. When the harbor and its defenses came into our possession on the 18th of February, 1865, and the novel spectacle was presented of a large fleet, comprising gun-boats, army and navy transports, a coast-survey steamer, dispatch boats, tugs, sutlers' and traders' vessels, passing up to the city and dispersing themselves at plea
armed front about 800 feet in length reaching entirely across the island, while our advance must be made over a strip of low shifting sand only about 80 feet wide, and two feet above the range of ordinary tides. Between the 16th and 18th of July, as preliminary to a second attempt to get possession of Battery Wagner by assault, 41 pieces of artillery, comprising light rifles and siege-mortars, were put in position on an oblique line across the island at distances from the fort ranging from 1300 to 1900 yards. The rifles were intended principally to dismount the enemy's guns. Early in the afternoon of the 18th all these batteries opened fire, and the navy closed in on the fort and took an active and efficient part in the engagement. In a short time the work became absolutely silent on the faces looking toward us, and practically so on the sea front, from which at the beginning of the action a severe fire had been delivered against the fleet. The work was silenced for the time at l
August 17th (search for this): chapter 1.8
of the gravest doubt in some quarters whether any farther progress was possible, and, what was of infinitely greater importance, whether we could complete the erection of any of the breaching batteries, or serve them when erected. It is a pleasure to be able to state without qualification that the officers and men were fully equal to the extraordinary demands made upon them. Not a murmur of discontent was heard on the island. Finally some of the breaching batteries opened fire on the 17th of August, and by the 19th all. were in successful operation. The result was soon clearly foreshadowed. Nothing, indeed, but the destruction of our guns, either by the enemy's shot or through their own inherent weakness, would long delay it. About 450 projectiles struck the fort daily, every one of which inflicted an incurable wound. Large masses of the brick walls and parapets were rapidly loosened and thrown down. The bulk of our fire was directed against the gorge and south-east face, which
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