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Keokuk, Iowa (Iowa, United States) (search for this): chapter 6
It is proper to note the fact that without exception the commanding officers of all of the vessels engaged spoke in the highest terms of those under their command. The names, which may be seen in the official reports, are omitted for lack of space and fear of taxing the patience of the reader. Rear-Admiral Dupont, in his several reports to the Department, states that he moved in line of battle as before given, in the New Ironsides, with seven ironclad monitors and the iron-plated vessel Keokuk, and attacked Fort Sumter, intending to pass it and commence action on the northwest face, in accordance with his order of battle. The heavy fire received from Sumter and Moultrie and the nature of the obstructions compelled the attack from outside, which was fierce and obstinate, and the gallantry of the officers and men was conspicuous. The endeavors of the Admiral in the pilot-house of the New Ironsides to bring the vessel into such close action as he desired were not successful; in a
Hilton Head (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 6
mter. But whether you can or not, we wish the demonstration kept up for a time, for a collateral and very important object; we wish the attempt to be a real one (though not a desperate one) if it affords any considerable chance of success. But if prosecuted for a demonstration only, this must not be made public, or the whole effect will be lost. Once again before Charleston, do not leave till further orders from here. Of course this is not intended to force you to leave unduly exposed Hilton Head or other near points in your charge. Yours truly, A. Lincoln. General Hunter and Admiral Dupont. P. S.—Whoever receives this first, please send a copy to the other immediately. On April 16th, Rear-Admiral Dupont wrote to the Secretary of the Navy as follows: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt this morning, by the Freeborn, of your communication of the 11th inst., directing the maintaining of a large force off Charleston, to menace the rebels and keep them in app
Providence, R. I. (Rhode Island, United States) (search for this): chapter 6
ature consideration, and seems to be imperative. On the night after the attack officers on General Hunter's staff were on board of the Ironsides with the proposition for the flag-officer to co-operate with General Hunter in the reduction of Morris Island, which, for reasons quite obvious, could not then be entertained. In a reply to a very complimentary letter received from General Hunter at this time, the Admiral says: I feel very comfortable, General, for the reason that a merciful Providence permitted me to have a failure instead of a disaster, and if I had ever entertained for a moment any misgiving as to my course, the despatches just handed me would remove it. The following day, in a note to General Hunter, he says: I find the ships so much damaged during this short engagement as to force me to the conviction that they could not endure the fire to which they would be exposed long enough to destroy Sumter or reach Charleston. I am now satisfied that the place cannot be
Daniel Ammen (search for this): chapter 6
, about fifty feet in length, shaped not unlike a boot-jack, the bows of the vessel propelling within the notch. The after-ends or jaws of the raft were secured by chains to the bow of the vessel. The wave-motion acting on this cumbrous mass was quite different from that of the monitor. It proved to be a battering ram, and loosened the armor plating on the bows of the Weehawken. led the line; the Passaic, Captain Percival Drayton; the Montauk, Captain John L. Worden; the Patapsco, Commander Daniel Ammen; the New Ironsides, Commodore Thomas Turner (as flag-ship), followed by the Catskill, Commander George W. Rodgers; the Nantucket, Commander D. M. Fairfax; the Nahant, Commander John Downes, and the Keokuk, Commander A. C. Rhind. The vessels were ordered to pass without returning the fire from batteries on Morris Island; when within easy range of Fort Sumter they were to open upon it, and take position to the north and west, at a distance of eight hundred yards, firing low, and at
f the Weehawken delayed her, and caused wild steering along the whole line, so it was about 2.50 P. M. when she was opened on by Moultrie, followed at once by Sumter, and all of the batteries within effective range. The Weehawken was then somewhat above Fort Wagner. At about 3.05 she opened fire on Fort Sumter, followed by the other monitors, at or before they arrived at the same point, the Patapsco at that time employing a 150-pounder rifle, at the angle of Sumter that was in face. From Wagner up, several buoys of different colors were seen; the vessels passed between them and Morris Island, but nor far from them, perhaps within one hundred and fifty yards. It was observed that the different vessels, in bringing the buoys in range with Moultrie or batteries on that shore, received in turn a heavy fire, and it was supposed probable that they marked torpedoes; they certainly served to indicate distance, and the ranges of the guns had been practically established on them, which great
Gideon Welles (search for this): chapter 6
ained him, such as no loss of life, had it occurred, would have done. On the evening of the attack the flag-officer received a letter, as follows: Confidential. Navy Department, April 2, 1863. Sir—The exigencies of the public service are so pressing in the Gulf that the Department directs you to send all the ironclads that are in a fit condition to move, after your present attack upon Charleston, directly to New Orleans, reserving to yourself only two. Very respectfully, Gideon Welles. Of the same date is the following unofficial letter from the Assistant Secretary of the Navy: Matters are at a standstill on the Mississippi River, and the President was with difficulty restrained from sending off Hunter and all the ironclads directly to New Orleans, the opening of the Mississippi being the principal object to be obtained. It is, however, arranged, as you will see by to-day's order, that you are to send all the ironclads that survive the attack upon Charleston imme
John Downes (search for this): chapter 6
vessel. The wave-motion acting on this cumbrous mass was quite different from that of the monitor. It proved to be a battering ram, and loosened the armor plating on the bows of the Weehawken. led the line; the Passaic, Captain Percival Drayton; the Montauk, Captain John L. Worden; the Patapsco, Commander Daniel Ammen; the New Ironsides, Commodore Thomas Turner (as flag-ship), followed by the Catskill, Commander George W. Rodgers; the Nantucket, Commander D. M. Fairfax; the Nahant, Commander John Downes, and the Keokuk, Commander A. C. Rhind. The vessels were ordered to pass without returning the fire from batteries on Morris Island; when within easy range of Fort Sumter they were to open upon it, and take position to the north and west, at a distance of eight hundred yards, firing low, and at the centre embrasure. The necessity for precision of fire was enjoined. Vessels were to be prepared to render assistance to each other as far as possible, and a special code of signals wa
Percival Drayton (search for this): chapter 6
t was formed of very heavy timbers crossing at right angles, bolted together, about fifty feet in length, shaped not unlike a boot-jack, the bows of the vessel propelling within the notch. The after-ends or jaws of the raft were secured by chains to the bow of the vessel. The wave-motion acting on this cumbrous mass was quite different from that of the monitor. It proved to be a battering ram, and loosened the armor plating on the bows of the Weehawken. led the line; the Passaic, Captain Percival Drayton; the Montauk, Captain John L. Worden; the Patapsco, Commander Daniel Ammen; the New Ironsides, Commodore Thomas Turner (as flag-ship), followed by the Catskill, Commander George W. Rodgers; the Nantucket, Commander D. M. Fairfax; the Nahant, Commander John Downes, and the Keokuk, Commander A. C. Rhind. The vessels were ordered to pass without returning the fire from batteries on Morris Island; when within easy range of Fort Sumter they were to open upon it, and take position to t
Abraham Lincoln (search for this): chapter 6
l further orders. Do not allow the enemy to erect new batteries or defences on Morris Island. If he has begun it, drive him out. I do not herein order you to renew the general attack. That is to depend on your discretion or a further order. A. Lincoln. To Admiral Dupont. The following day the President issued further instructions: executive Mansion, April 14, 1863. This is intended to clear up an apparent inconsistency between the recent order to continue operations before Cha or the whole effect will be lost. Once again before Charleston, do not leave till further orders from here. Of course this is not intended to force you to leave unduly exposed Hilton Head or other near points in your charge. Yours truly, A. Lincoln. General Hunter and Admiral Dupont. P. S.—Whoever receives this first, please send a copy to the other immediately. On April 16th, Rear-Admiral Dupont wrote to the Secretary of the Navy as follows: I have the honor to acknowledge
.H. R. Ex. (search for this): chapter 6
the batteries of the vessels on the 7th of April), would point rather to the probability of disaster than to success, had an attempt been made to enter. The reader has been informed of the strength of the attacking force in guns and in material resistance, and the failure of many of the guns to operate when they were most needed. A part of the defences at that time consisted of seventy-six guns of large calibre, which bore over the area occupied for a time by the vessels attacking. H. R. Ex. Doc. No. 69, Thirty-eighth Congress, First Session, page 85 (Report on Armored Vessels), states: There was a cylinder torpedo off Fort Wagner under charge of Mr. Langdon Cheves, who endeavored to explode it for ten minutes. He could not have placed the Ironsides more directly over the torpedo, but the confounded thing, as is usual with them, would not go off when it was wanted. The character of the defences of Charleston and the ability of the attacking force will appear more fully in th
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