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Doc. 129.-battle of Genesis point, Ga.1

Baltimore American account.

steamship Ericsson, Ossabaw Sound, mouth of Ogeechee River, March 4, 1863.
we left Port Royal harbor again at noon on Monday, the second inst., in our splendid floating home, the steamship Ericsson, Captain Lowber, bound for the coast of Georgia, with instructions to report to Commandant Drayton, in Ossabaw Sound. Previous to leaving Port Royal, the whole fleet of iron-clads were in motion for the same destination. It was therefore just the place to which we were anxious to go, and had Admiral Du Pont consulted us as to our destination, Ossabaw Sound would have been the unanimous choice of Capt. Lowber and his little family party.

It was a bright and beautiful day, and we enjoyed the trip along the coast immensely, the atmosphere being as warm as would be experienced in a sail on the Chesapeake in the month of June. On our way down we passed in view of the Light-House and entrance to Fort Pulaski, and afterward passed the mouth of Warsaw Sound, and learned that Commandant Drayton had left his anchorage there with the Monitor Passaic, and had joined and taken command as senior officer of the whole fleet in Ossabaw Sound, preparatory to a joint attack on Fort McAllister, located a few miles up the Ogeechee River. He had left the gunboat Marblehead, Captain Robert Scott, there, to blockade this outlet from Savannah.

We reached the bar off Ossabaw Sound at sunset on Monday evening, and selecting a good anchorage about seven miles from shore, dropped anchor and settled down for the night. We were within sight of the fleet lying in the sound, and Captain Lowber set a signal, according to his instructions, by which they would understand he desired to report to Commandant Drayton. There was scarcely a ripple on the ocean, and we enjoyed our game of whist as quietly as if at home, expecting to be aroused early in the morning by the roar of artillery on shore. The night was one of unusual quiet, and we listened in vain in the morning for any indications of the anticipated conflict. The sun had risen brightly and beautifully, and a steamer sent out by Commandant Drayton afforded us the desired opportunity of entering the mouth of the Ogeechee River.

On rounding Ossabaw Island this morning we found the entire Monitor fleet, including the Passaic, which had come down from Warsaw Sound with the three mortar-schooners, had gone up to Fort McAllister, and the fight was momentarily expected to commence. The entire fleet about to engage the rebels consisted of the following vessels:

The Passaic, (monitor,) Commander Percival Drayton, senior officer in command, carrying one fifteen-inch and one eleven-inch Dahlgren.

The Patapsco, (monitor,) Commander Daniel Ammen, one fifteen-inch Dahlgren and one two hundred pound Parrott.

The Montauk, (monitor,) Commander John L Worden, one fifteen-inch and one eleven-inch Dahlgren, which was held as a reserve.

The Nahant, (monitor,) Commander Downs, one fifteen-inch and one eleven-inch Dahlgren.

The Peira, Capt. Torbox, and two other thirteen-inch mortar-schooners.

During the night all had been active preparation on the various vessels of the fleet, and all were visited by Commander Drayton and pronounced by their several commanders as fully prepared for action. At seven o'clock the whole fleet hove anchor and moved up in line of battle toward the Fort, which is about three miles up the river from the point of anchorage. The approach to the Fort is through a long double bend in the river, and immediately around a point, which had to be turned before the vessels came in range of its guns. When this point was turned, the fleet was within one thousand four hundred yards of the enemy's works, and about two hundred yards on this side of the Fort were placed obstructions in the river which, of course, impeded their further progress.

Some time was spent in getting the mortar-boats in a position where they could get the range and drop their immense projectiles. In the mean time the iron-clads were in readiness to move forward in line of battle, and all was excitement in anticipation of the momentary commencement of the fight.

The enemy having received intimation of the concentration of this powerful fleet in Ossabaw Sound, had sent large reenforcements down the river from Savannah, and the smoke of steamers in the distance, moving to and from the city, indicated the most active preparations for the coming conflict. It was evident that a strong resistance was to be made, and the officers and crews of the various vessels were in high spirits at the prospect of trying the strength of their armaments on the rebel batteries.

At precisely half-past 8 o'clock this (Tuesday) morning, every thing being in readiness, Commander Drayton signalled to the mortar schooners, which had taken position around the point, out of range of the enemy's guns, to open [434] fire, and in a few minutes their tremendous projectiles were making a circuit through the air with a booming sound that fairly shook the earth. The direction in which their shells fell was signalled to them from the look-out of one of the gunboats, which were stationed at a good point for observation. They soon got the range, and their shells fell in and around the Fort with considerable precision.

After about a dozen shells were fired from the mortar-schooners, the monitor fleet slowly advanced toward the Fort, the Passaic taking the lead, the Patapsco and Nahant following. Whilst the monitors were getting in position and preparing to anchor, the rebels opened on the Passaic with solid ten-inch shot, and the position she took being in direct line with a target at which they had been practising, nearly every shot struck her. Captain Drayton and Chief-Engineer Stimers, who accompanied the monitor fleet at the request of Admiral Du Pont, remained on deck to observe the effect of the shot, shielding themselves behind the turret. A small splinter from one of the enemy's shells struck Captain Drayton on the cheek, causing a slight scratch, and entering the flesh.

The Patapsco and Nahant took position in the rear of the Passaic, the channel being so narrow that it was utterly impossible for them to advance abreast, and the water so shallow that there was danger of getting aground when the tide should recede. The difficulty of taking the Fort under such circumstances was at once apparent; but the main object being to test the strength of the monitors and to give their officers experience in handling their vessels, and the men an opportunity for practice in the working of the guns and the machinery of the turrets, it was determined to make a vigorous attack, notwithstanding all the disadvantages.

The Patapsco and Nahant were each separately by about two hundred yards from the Passaic and from each other, and could with difficulty bring their guns to bear. The cannonading, as I have stated, was opened by the enemy, and after several guns had been fired the Passaic opened on them with a fifteen-inch shell, but the guns not being sufficiently elevated the shot fell short. This was immediately corrected, and shot and shell were poured into the enemy's works for four hours, without any intermission, by all three of the iron-clads, the mortar-vessels at the same time keeping up a constant fire from their position nearly two miles distant. The wooden vessels took no part in the fight, the Wissahickon, Dawn, Sebago, Seneca, and Flambeau being at anchor near the mortar-boats, whilst the Montauk, Capt. Worden, took position in advance of the wooden vessels, and in sight of the conflict, but took no part in it.

The three monitors being thus arranged in line of battle, kept up a constant fire from half-past 8 o'clock in the morning until nearly one o'clock. The enemy in the mean time were not inactive, and showed a determination to make a most vigorous defence. They concentrated their fire entirely on the passaic, which was in the advance, only a few chance shots striking the Patapsco and Nahant.

At half-past 12 o'clock the monitors suspended fire for an hour for dinner, taking no heed of the continued firing of the enemy. At two o'clock the fight was again resumed and continued until half-past 4 o'clock. The Passaic was struck on her turret, pilot-house, smoke-stack and deck thirty-one times, one of her boats was damaged, the small flag-staff on the top of her turret was shot away, and a piece of shell passed through the flag on her stern. The Nahant and Patapsco received two or three slight blows from spent shot. A ten-inch shot from the rebel Fort was found on the turret of the Passaic.

The reports of the cannon and mortars were almost deafening to a novice in such matters, and must have been heard with great distinctness in Savannah, the wind bearing the sound off in that direction. It was a most beantiful day, the sun shining brightly, with a cloudless sky, and the atmosphere so warm that winter clothing was quite oppressive. The only annoyance was a superabundance of sand-flies, which were as full of fight as the human species by which they were surrounded, and thirsted for blood with equal voracity.

The enemy fired at first with considerable regularity, but after a time directed their shot mainly at the port-holes of the Passaic, and only fired when they could get a good shot. One of the ten-inch columbiads struck within three inches of the port-hole of the Passaic, making a slight dent; all the other shots went far wide of the mark. They were evidently early convinced of the fact that it was wasting ammunition to fire on their iron-clad adversaries unless they could strike the target they had made of the port-holes.

The position of the Fort was such that the amount of damage done by the cannonade could not be seen, except through the eye-holes of the pilot-houses, and the few spectators present not connected with the service were unable while the fight progressed to ascertain what headway had been made in the reduction of the Fort. It was, however, an exciting fight. Its finely rounded embrasures soon presented an immense irregular heap of sand. The fifteen-inch shells, weighing three hundred and forty-five pounds, when they entered the scarps and parapets and exploded would throw up in the air tons of sand, but it would, of course in a great measure, fall back in the same place, and hence the work of dismantling the Fort was slow and tedious. This flying sand must have been very severe on the gunners, when it came on them before they could escape to the bomb-proofs, but they always showed themselves a moment afterward, prepared to return the fire. A large number of these shells exploded within the Fort, and there must have been considerable loss of life. Their guns, except when run forward to fire, were entirely out of sight of our gunners, consequently there was but little opportunity of dismounting them unless the immense earth-works in front could have been dismantled. [435]

The shells and shot of the enemy when they struck in the water near the monitors would send immense bodies of water flying over their decks and turrets.

Beauregard is said to have been in the Fort during the whole siege, assisting in its defence. The rebels had large supporting forces near at hand to meet any troops that might land.

The scene was very exciting, and amid the din and noise of battle we all felt a confidence in the result, so far as the safety of our iron fleet was concerned, even if they should fail in reducing the Fort. Their invulnerability to the projectiles of the enemy had been fully ascertained by the previous conflicts of Captain Worden with the same works, and by his successful destruction of the Nashville whilst exposed to the guns of the Fort, to which he paid no attention.

In alluding to the destruction of the Nashville by Capt. Worden, in my last letter, I omitted to mention that the enemy succeeded in exploding one of his torpedoes directly under the hull of the Montauk, slightly jarring her, but doing not the slightest damage. She continued in her position, tiring on the Nashville until she was blown up, and then fell back to her anchorage. On Wednesday she steamed back to Port Royal, and is ready for the next movement that may be ordered. She did not take part in the fight, because only three vessels could get in position, and it was desirable to give the others an opportunity to test their powers, and gain the experience and practice that can only be obtained from an active engagement.

Gen. Seymour was also present, and had troops on steamboats ready to land and take possession of the Fort, in case their assistance was required in the progress of the fight. The great distance — from one thousand two hundred to one thousand four hundred feet--at which the monitors were compelled to lie, rendered its reduction an impossibility.

From twelve to one o'clock there was a temporary suspension of hostilities, on account of the fall of the tide, partly to rest and refresh the gunners, and partly to concert a new combination of movements for the reduction of the enemy's work, which from its peculiar location, and the obstructions in the river, prevented our monitors from fully concentrating their fire on its most vulnerable points. The mortar-schooners kept up an occasional fire until two o'clock, when the monitors again advanced and renewed the fight. A heavy cannonading was kept up occasionally until four o'clock, when the firing was again suspended, the monitors falling back out of range.

The direct firing on the Fort was suspended at four o'clock, the monitors falling back out of range. From four o'clock until eight o'clock in the evening hostilities were entirely suspended, when the mortar-schooners again opened fire, and continued to occasionally throw their shells during the entire night. Every fifteen minutes a shell was thrown in the direction of the Fort, and having got the range during the day the firing was thought to be with considerable precision. The purpose of this firing during the night was to distract the enemy, to prevent him from repairing damages and keep him from rest and refreshment. Our men on the monitors and gunboats, being tired out by the labors of the day, slept soundly notwithstanding the din of battle by which they were surrounded.

The cannonading during the day had been very heavy, and its results rather unsatisfactory. The difficulty of obtaining position before the Fort by more than one monitor at a time, owing to the obstructions in the river, which prevented them from getting in full range before the Fort, rendered the task a difficult one. If they could have removed the obstructions, the work would have been an easy one of accomplishment, and they might have moved on against Savannah, if so desired. These obstructions, however, have proved a greater barrier than the guns of the enemy, which against the iron-clads have done no more damage than so many pop-guns.

The night bombardment was kept up until daybreak, without any intermission, when it ceased entirely, whilst the fleet of iron-clads was preparing to move forward to a renewal of the direct assault on the works.

During the progress of the fight a ten-inch mortar-shell, loaded with sand, fell on the deck of the Passaic. It struck on the weakest of the deck, and, further than a disfiguration of the armor, did no damage to the vessel. This was a test that the monitors had not before undergone, and it will be a matter of congratulation to know that they are invulnerable to even mortar projectiles.

Wednesday, March 4.--This is the second anniversary of the inauguration of President Lincoln, and the war still progresses. God grant that its next anniversary may find peace and happiness prevailing throughout the land.

The morning has again opened bright and beautiful — a cloudless sky and a warm sun shining down on this scene of human antagonism. At the time I write, the monitor fleet are moving forward in momentary anticipation of a renewal of the conflict. The incessant mortar-firing during the night it was thought had prevented the repair of the damage done yesterday, as well as the mounting of new guns in the place of those dismounted yesterday.

The firing of the mortars at night was a grand sight. Their immense shells could be seen mounting slowly to an immense height, with a slight spark of fire visible. When they turned to fall they came down with double the rapidity they ascended, and soon the booming sound of their explosion could be heard coming back from a point two miles distant. At other times the shells would explode high in the air, owing to some defect in the fuse, making a brilliant pyrotechnic display.

On board the schooners, to prevent injury from the immense reverberation, it was necessary to stand on tip-toe and keep your mouth open. The practice of the gunners was fine, but not very pleasant to a spectator. [436]

On approaching the Fort, Capt. Drayton discovered that the enemy had during the night repaired all damages, and that the Fort was as impregnable as on the previous day. He thereupon concluded to abandon at once the attempt to reduce it, the destruction of the Nashville having in reality rendered its possession a matter of little or no importance.

On ordering his vessels to retire, the enemy fired their cannons, exploded their rifles, and shouted, yelled, and cheered with an exultant vehemence that could be distinctly heard at a great distance. The abandonment of the attack was undoubtedly a most joyful event to the rebels, and of corresponding depression to us. The possession of the Fort was but of little importance, but the failure to take it after so vigorous an attempt was somewhat mortifying.

The iron-clad monitors this morning, (Wednesday), after the grand rebel feu-de-joie at day-break, break, all fell back to their former anchorage, and made preparations, with the mortar-boats, for an immediate return to Port Royal. The Montauk, accompanied by the gunboat Wissahickon, started immediately, and the Passaic, Nahant, and Patapsco were in readiness to depart the same evening, but the weather becoming rough, they postponed their departure until Thursday morning.

The result of the fight was deemed as settling the question that with such shallow water and the narrowness of the stream, the taking of an earthwork situated as Fort McAllister was an impossibility. Unless the obstructions in the river were previously removed, or the aid of a land force was given to the monitors, they could not approach within one thousand yards of the Fort, and hence, unless they could entirely destroy it with their guns, all further attempts were use-less.

The number of guns fired by the Passaic during the light was ninety-seven, by the Patapsco seventy, and the Nahant sixty. The mortar-schooners fired about one hundred shells.

The fight has proved the entire invulnerability of the monitors, and their ability to pass any land battery that was ever constructed, with the greatest impunity, provided there should be no obstructions in the channel. A slight but harmless depression of their armor was all the damage inflicted upon any of them.

Two of the monitors got aground during the fight, but succeeded in getting off. When the tide fell they were all compelled to draw back into deeper water. The rebel gunners, after a short time, stood by their guns, watching the turning of the turrets, and only fired at the portholes of the Passaic, dodging into their bomb-proofs when the other vessels fired, to avoid the clouds of sand that were raised by our shells from their embrasures.

The rebel works had been erected with a particular view to the character of the attack likely to be made upon them. The embrasures were immense banks of sand nearly forty feet thick, and to dismount the guns and destroy the forts it was necessary to beat down these immense sand-hill. But one of the rebel guns is known to have been dismounted and broken to pieces by a solid fifteen-inch shot from the Nahant, though it is thought that another was dismounted. If the Fort could have been dismantled, the guns could easily have been destroyed. But they could not be reached from the position in which the vessels were compelled to lie.

At one time a rebel was observed in the marsh, apparently in charge of a string leading to a torpedo in the bed of the river. The pilot of the Passaic observing him, raised a rifle to the eye-hole of the pilot-house and shot him through the head. At another time, some rebels appeared in the marsh and fired several shots at Capt. Drayton, who frequently took position on deck to watch the effect of the balls. The Captain immediately ordered a charge of canister, and, firing in the direction in which they appeared, received no more annoyance from that quarter. Those that escaped were seen running off, and doubtless many suffered for their temerity.

The enemy had but eight guns and a mortar in their Fort, being all that could be well mounted in the position it was located. The obstructions in the river consisted of piles, and were not driven in a line directly across the stream, but in a slanting line down the stream, commencing just below the Fort and extending some distance down to the other side of the stream. Had they been in a direct line they might have been removed or forced through, but the narrowness of the channel favored the strength of the obstruction.

The whole object of the movement on the Georgia coast was the destruction of the Nashville, which was in full readiness for a piratical cruise, and that being accomplished. Admiral Du Pont doubtless ordered the attack on the Fort for the purpose of moire fully testing the powers of the monitors, and to give their commanders experience in handling their vessels and guns. The result has been most satisfactory, as they have all been within a few hundred yards of the enemy's guns for eight hours, and have come and of the conflict unscathed. They are as ready for immediate service as they were before the conflict, and will doubtless not long remain inactive.

The monitors were originally ordered to Ossabaw to assist in destroying the Nashville, and were preparing to start when the news of her destruction was received. Had she been destroyed a day or two sooner, there would probably have been no attack on the Fort. It was merely ordered afterward to test the vessels; hence the failure is of but little real importance.

Yours, etc.,

C. C. F.

Savannah Republican account.

Savannah, March 12, 1863.
This remarkable engagement is deserving a more extended notice than it has heretofore received from the hands of the press. That one of the most terrible conflicts of the revolution should [437] be disposed of in a few lines of telegraphic reports, embracing only its results, is not just to the noble and heroic spirits who, on that memorable occasion, defended successfully the soil of Georgia against an armament which in force and terror is without a parallel. The Brigadier-General commanding the department, has in part supplied the omission of his complimentary orders. There are other facts, though, embracing the entire details of the engagement, which should be put on record as part of the history of this unnatural and sanguinary war. True, it was a bloodless battle, so far as our forces were concerned, the only life lost in the Fort being that of a pet tom-cat. Yet it was not because our men were not exposed to death, or fighting for hours, with his terrible shafts flying all around them. An omnipotent arm above shielded them from harm.

During a recent visit to the Fort, we acquainted ourselves with a number of interesting facts, regarding the battle, a few of which we will give to our readers. It will be recollected that the engagement took place on Tuesday, the third of March inst. Including the attack on the Nashville, in which the Fort became involved, it was the seventh attempt of the enemy to carry the position. We would state that Fort McAllister is situated on the right bank of the Ogeechee, and occupies the farthest points, by mainland, jutting out into the marsh. The river flows straight from a point about a mile above the Fort, to a distance of about a mile and a half below, where it makes a bend, and runs almost south, and behind a point of woods; thence onward to Ossabaw Sound and the ocean. During the afternoon of Monday, three iron monitors — the Montauk, the second, supposed from the descriptions in the New-York papers to be the Passaic, and the third, the Weehawken — steamed up from behind the point of woods, rounded the bend, and came up to within a short distance of the Fort, the Montauk about a thousand yards off, and the other two in the rear, some one hundred and fifty yards from each other. Here they anchored in line of battle for the next day, and the night passed in quiet, both sides, no doubt, busy with preparations for the dreadful work of the morning. Around the point, and a little over two miles distant, lay three mortar-schooners and an old steamer, which also took part in the fight, and kept up a rapid fire throughout. Such was the force and disposition of the enemy. The Montauk, and another iron-clad, were armed with one fifteen-inch and one eleven-inch gun each, and the third with eight-inch rifle-guns. The mortar-boats threw ten and eleven-inch shells. Our battery remained as in the former fight, except that it had been reenforced with a ten-inch columbiad. Another part of our force, on the day, which should not be overlooked, was a detachment of the Hardwick Mounted Rifles, Captain McAllister, under command of Third Lieutenant E. A. Elarbee. They consisted of Sergeant Hayman, privates Proctor, Wyatt Harper, and Cobb. These men went up the river, and crossed over the marsh, by night, to a point about two hundred and fifty yards from the Montauk, and in full rifle-range, where they dug out a rifle-pit in the mud, and remained the greater part of the fight; it is believed not without important success, as will be seen here-after. Thus stood matters up to a quarter of nine o'clock Tuesday morning, when our troops, wearied with waiting on the enemy, opened on the Montauk with the rifle-gun. The eight-inch columbiad, forty-two pounder and ten-inch columbiad followed suit, in order in which they are named, all directing their fire on the Montauk; indeed, she was the only one of the iron-clads that we shot at during the fight; the rest were doubtless much disappointed in the not being visited. At nine o'clock, the Montauk fired the first gun, and was followed by her associates in rapid succession. Thus commenced the firing on both sides, and the deadly strife was kept up steadily for seven and a half hours, without the slightest intermission.

Considering the strength of the combatants respectively, and the immense weight of metal thrown in terrific grandeur, there has been nothing like it since the commencement of the war. Indeed, history furnishes no parallel. It is estimated that the enemy threw some two hundred and fifty shot and shell at the Fort, amounting to some sixty or seventy tons of the most formidable missiles ever invented for the destruction of human life. Only think of eleven and fifteen-inch round shot, and rifle shells, eight inches in diameter and seventeen inches in length, screaming along their destructive way, like so many fiery demons, plunging into the earthworks of Fort McAllister to the depth of eight or ten feet, or exploding with a voice of thunder and the jars of an earthquake, for more than seven mortal hours, over, around, and in the midst of our undaunted little band of patriots. Firm and unterrified, they stood to their guns through it all, and at the close, with a defiant shot and a shout of victory, saluted the retiring foe. Such a fire was never directed against mortal man before, and they came out not only unscathed, but triumphant, from the fiery ordeal. About midday, an eleven-inch shell struck the upright post of the eightinch columbiad, and shivered the entire carriage to atoms, the gun consequently lost to them for the remainder of the day. The main traverse-wheel of the forty-two pounder, was carried away by a shot, and replaced within twenty minutes, in the midst of a terrific fire. Private Carroll Hanson, of the Emmet Rifles, distinguished himself by passing out into the yard of the Fort, in the direct line of the enemy's fire, where it appeared impossible for life to exist, and returning by the same route with a wheel for the disabled gun. One of the thirty-twos, which battery was gallantly served throughout the fight, by a detachment of sharp-shooters under command of Lieut. Herman, met with a similar accident, but they kept up their fire to the last.

These guns are greatly exposed, and require the sternest kind of nerves to man them.

About a quarter-past four o'clock P. M., a shot from our forty-two pounder struck the body of [438] the Montauk; a volume of steam was seen to issue from her side, and her turret refuse to revolve. She immediately weighed anchor, turned tier bow down-stream, and retired from the fight. The Fort gave her a parting salute as she rounded, to which she replied by two random shots, one of which went up the river, and the other across the marsh — as much as to say to her troublesome customer: “If I can't whip you, go to the devil.” The Fort fired the first and the last shot. In a few minutes the other two rains turned about and followed their file-leader, which on making the bend below was taken in tow by a steamer, as if in a damaged condition. This conclusion is supported by the testimony of our pickets, who report that her pilot-house was taken down, and the men were at work during the whole of that night and the day following. Thus ended the fight, with the exception of a slow but continued fire which was kept up from the mortar-boats, from behind the point of wood, throughout the night, in order to prevent repairs on the Fort. It, however, did little or no damage, nor did it cause a suspension of the work for a moment. The garrison being pretty well worn out by the labors of the day, Major Schaaff's battalion of sharp-shooters volunteered to make the necessary repairs. Though under fire, these brave men continued their work throughout the night, and at daylight the dismounted columbiad was again in position, all the breaches repaired, and the Fort in complete order for another trial of strength with her formidable antagonist. At dawn, the men were again at their guns, but hour after hour passed, and no enemy hove in sight. The Yankees had received their fill, and concluded to let us alone. But to return to Lieut. Elarbee and his adventurous little band, who had taken their position under cover of the marsh, within rifle-shot of the enemy's rams. It was one of extreme peril, being not only exposed to a raking fire from the gunboats, should they be discovered, but also in a direct line with the fire from the Fort. During the fight, an officer made his appearance on the deck of the Montauk, with a glass in hand, and presented the long-wished for target. A Maynard rifle slug soon went whizzing by his ears, which startled him, and caused him to right-about, when a second slug apparently took effect on his person, as, with both hands raised, he caught hold of the turret for support, and immediately clambered or was pulled in at a port-hole. It is believed that the officer was killed. The display of awning on the Montauk the day following, and the funeral on Assabau Friday, give strength to this opinion. As soon as this shot was fired, the Montauk turned her guns upon the marsh, and literally raked it with grape-shot. The riflemen, however, succeeded in changing their base in time, and avoiding the missiles of the enemy. Not one of them was hurt. Too much credit cannot be be-stowed on the daring act of a few brave men. Of the damage done to the garrison, we have already given a full account, and can only repeat that it was confined to the wounding of one man, Thomas W. Rape, Emmet Rifles, in the knee, and another, William S. Owens, of the same company, slightly in the face. James Mims, of company D, First Georgia battalion of sharp-shooters, had his leg broken and his ankle crushed, by the fall of a piece of timber, while remounting the columbiad, after the fight. All, we learn, are doing well. Considerable havoc was made in the sand-banks in the Fort, and the quarters of the men were almost entirely demolished. The officers' quarters received two or three shots, but suffered no material damage. Inside the Fort, and to the rear and left of it, for a half-mile, the earth was dug up into immense pits and furrows by the enemy's shell and shot; a large quantity of which has been gathered up, and will be returned to the Yankees in a different form should the occasion offer.

It is almost incredible that our troops should have remained under such a fire, for so long a time, and not one of them killed or seriously wounded. Indeed their safety would seem to throw suspicion on the whole account of the fight. But it is all true, and why it is so cannot be accounted for on any principle of natural law. The escape was miraculous, and can only be ascribed to that All-seeing Eye that watches over the actions of men, and that Omnipotent Arm which is ever stretched out to uphold the right, and shield from harm the cause of the just and oppressed. We might name a number of extraordinary incidents that occurred during the progress of the bombardment that baffle human reason, and irresistibly turn the eye of the inquirer up to Him with whom all things are possible. A few will suffice: the eleven-inch shell that shivered the carriage of the eight-inch columbiad to atoms, exploded in the gun-chamber in the midst of eight or ten men, and not one of them was injured. A fragment the size of a man's head, passed between Lieutenant Dixon and gunner No. 1, who were within twenty inches of each other, and sank deep into the traverse, without doing a particle of harm. A shell fell and exploded in the pit of the rifle-gun, where a number were serving, and but a single fragment was left on the floor, yet no one was hurt.

Several officers were lying in the door of the hospital, and four or five others standing around outside, and not ten feet distant, when a fifteen-inch shell struck the bank, rolled down to the very door-sill, and exploded. All were burnt with the powder, but not one was touched by a fragment of a shell. Where they went to, who can tell? An officer of the Fort, whose word no one will dispute, informed us, that the shells from the mortar-boats at night, or many of them, after being well-aimed, and coming in an exact curve for the Fort over a distance of two miles, when nearing it, without any natural cause, and as if by some gentle, unseen hand, were turned aside and fell to the right or left. All were amazed at the remarkable phenomenon, and puzzled to explain it. There is but one explanation — the God of battles is on our side. Did the events of this revolution stand alone, we should need no further [439] proofs of the existence of a supreme and good Being to overlook and direct the actions of men. This imperfect narrative has already attained to an unreasonable length, but it would hardly be just to close it without some special notice of the gallant spirits who engaged in the fight. Where all acted so bravely and so well, it would be wrong to discriminate, and we shall simply give the positions of the leading actors, that their names may become a part of the record. Capt. Anderson of the Blues, as on a former trying occasion, was in command of the work, managed every thing with good judgment and perfect coolness, and moved about from point to point, wherever duty called him, without the first indication of fear. Captain Nicoll of the Emmet Rifles, was present throughout the fight, and shrunk from no post where his services were needed.

We should not forget, too, the indefatigable Captain McAllister of the Mounted Rifles, who has charge of the picket force of the coasts, and whose watchful eye is hardly ever off of the foe, day or night, and on whose information and advice most of our movements in that quarter are directed. He is ever on hand in a fight, and never fails to render essential service to the garrison. His men acted as couriers in the late fight, and were compelled to pass down the line of the enemy's fire whenever they entered the Fort, but not one was known to flinch from his perilous duty. Of the guns not already alluded to, the eight-inch columbiad, which somehow is a favorite mark of the enemy, was commanded as before by the fearless Lieutenant Dixon, assisted by Sergeant Flood, who, by the way, was quite sick in the hospital, but left his bed to take part in the fight. The rifle-gun was commanded by Corporal Robt. Smith of the Blues, assisted by a squad from that company. The forty-two pounder was in charge of Lieutenant Quinn of the Blues, Sergt. Frazier assisting. The ten-inch columbiad fell to the lot of Lieutenant Rockwell, of the Emmet Rifles, and was served with great efficiency by Sergeant Cavanagh and his squad. The gallant Lieutenant Willis, who distinguished himself by his skill and bravery in a former fight, was, to the regret of all, confined to his bed, and unable to take part in the engagement. The mortar-battery, as in former engagement, was effectively served by Captain Martin, with a detachment of his light artillerymen. They kept up a regular fire, and threw their shells with a precision that would do credit to veteran gunners. All these gallant men stood firmly by their guns throughout the terrible conflict. Though often enveloped in smoke, and choked with clouds of flying sand, they fought to the last like heroes, and the discouraging reflection that the cowardly foe, unlike themselves, was encased in impenetrable steel, and secure from harm. Yet a great work was before them — the iron-clad ships of the enemy were on a trial-test, that was destined to affect most seriously, the fortunes of the war; and they went to their work and stuck to it, with as much resolution, as if ten thousand of the foe were arrayed in open field before them. They whipped the fight, and taught the world a lesson in war, which was unknown to it before, and indeed, regarded as impossible. Let every confederate soldier take courage from the glorious achievements of the noble Georgians at Genesis Point. The last forlorn hope of the enemy has been driven back, leaving to invent new plans to overawe and subdue the South.

Of Fort McAllister itself, and its builders, we should say a word before closing. It is a monument to the professional skill and personal energy of Captain McCrady, the engineer-in-chief of the department; and to him and his no less energetic assistant, Captain James A. McAllister, the executor of the plans, is due a large share of the honors won on the day.

1 this action is also known as the bombardment of Fort McAllister.

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