Doc. 158.-bombardment of Fort Sumter, April 7, 1863.
Ii.Certainly never did a fleet bent on so great a mission, set out with so little of pomp and circumstance as marked the departure of the expedition, so long preparing, against Charleston. Those who have read the volumes of Mr. Motley will remember the magnificent description in the History of the Netherlands, of the sailing of the Spanish Armada, with its hundreds of galleons and galleasses in their high state and bravery. There is absolutely nothing of this to tell in the story of our expedition. Indeed, so quietly had the fleet been dropping away from Port Royal for a week or ten days previous to the departure of the naval and military chiefs of the expedition — now a couple of iron-clads, now a convoy of gunboats with transports — that one rubbed his eyes at the time of the official announcement of the inauguration of operations on the first of April, to see that the vast fleet, numbering over one hundred vessels, had really gone. On Thursday, the first of April, Admiral Du Pont and staff left Port Royal on the James Adger, General hunter and staff sailing on the following day in the steamer Ben Deford. The fleet, which for a week or ten days had been dropping away from Port Royal, had been during the same time meeting in rendezvous in North Edisto River, which, you will observe, empties into the sea somewhat over half-way between Port Royal and Charleston harbor, and forms a safe and convenient entrepot for the expedition. Arriving at Edisto on Friday afternoon, (April third,) we found the whole fleet assembled in the embouchure of the river. Tides and winds were now the only conditions that remained to control the movement of the expedition. The iron-clads  require all the water over the Charleston bar that the most favorable circumstances provide, and it had been made a point that we should be in full fighting trim, and as near as possible to the scene of operations by the full of the moon, (April third,) when for three days before and after that period the spring tides prevail, and the “moist star upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands” piles up the waters off this coast a foot or two higher than their normal state. The water over the Charleston bar in ordinary times is but eighteen feet. Now, the New Ironsides draws sixteen feet, and as during the spring tides we get at least nineteen feet, the advantage of this season is manifest. Weather as well as tides, however, had to be counted with, for maugre many fine popular illusions as to the splendid sea-going qualities of the monitors, all naval men here know that they are utterly unseaworthy, and that they require the deftest and most delicate handling. Now, for several days the wind had been blowing fresh, and ruffled the sea to such an extent as to make Admiral Du Pont unwilling to leave his anchorage, and hazard the inauguration of active operations off Charleston. On the day following our arrival in Edisto, however, (Saturday, April fifth,) the wind went down with the sun, and the resplendent full moon rose on a sea calm as the Galilean lake. With early dawn of Sunday the prows were turned northward, and in the course of three hours the fleet lay to in the station occupied by the blockaders, outside of Charleston bar, half a dozen miles from Sumter. In the afternoon Capt. Rhind was sent in with his vessel, the Keokuk, assisted by C. O. Boutelle, Assistant U. S. Coast Survey, commanding the Bibb, Acting Ensign Platt, and the pilots of the squadron to buoy out the bar. The bar was crossed by the new channel, called the Pumpkin Channel, formed on the north side of the main channel in which the stone hulks were sunk last year. Strange to say, the new channel made by the action of the quicksands, is not only as good, but it is better than the old one, and gives a foot and a half more water than haas ever been known since soundings were made there. This preliminary work was performed with entire success. On Monday morning Admiral Du Pont transferred his pennant from the James Adger, in which he had come up from Port Royal, to the Ironsides, which was to he the flag-ship i)during the engagement, and the iron fleet in battle order got under way to cross the bar on the flood-tide. This delicate task was handsomely done, and by nine o'clock the nine iron-clads had all crossed the bar, and had gained a position: in the main ship-channel, extending in file parallel with Morris Island, and within a mile of the shore. And now, at this point, arose one of these complexities, which, apparently insignificant in themselves, often frustrate the greatest designs, especially when those designs depend on a delicate combination of circumstances. A slight haze or “smoke” very common along this coast during the spring months, had, since daybreak, hung over sea arid shore, and this developed with the heat of the day to such an extent as wholly to obscure the “ranges” by which the fleet was to steer. These ranges had been determined and planted by Mr. Boutelle, of the Coast Survey. They consisted of various buoys and ships at anchor, which when brought into line with certain fixed points on shore — here a clump of trees, there a church steeple in Charleston, (the rebels, of course, had destroyed all the old landmarks, and not only so, but so far as possible, levelled to the ground every standing object of sufficient altitude to give bearings,) were to serve the pilots to guide the iron-clads in the arduous navigation of the intricate channel ways — a task delicate and difficult under the most favorable circumstances, but rendered ten thousand times more so by the absence of all buoys, the impossibility, on board the iron-clads, of dropping the lead to obtain soundings, and the excessive difficulty of seeing from the narrow slits in the pilot-house. It was absolutely necessary to have three of these ranges always in sight, involving the necessity of seeing three, four, five miles. The haze rendered this absolutely impossible, and there was nothing for the fleet to do but to lie at anchor in the roadstead it had gained in the main ship channel, along the line of Morris Island, and await further developments.
Iii.'Tis the seventh “of April by the chime.” We are lying off Charleston harbor. The sea smooth as a surface of burnished steel, is beneath and around us. Sumter looms up in plain sight, a sentinel in the middle of the entrance to the harbor, and the rising sun bathes its top in golden glory; but unlike that Memnon's statue, which gave forth music to the god of day, awakes from its frowning battlements only the hoarse clamor of the daybreak gun. A gentle north wind has blown away the haze, and a diaphanous atmosphere invites to the work before us. The plan of attack has been fully developed by Admiral Du Pont, and each captain of the iron fleet is provided with a copy of the official order for his guidance. I subjoin herewith a transcription if this document, and although, unhappily, the programme was baulked and brought to naught, it will be interesting as a clear exposition of the plans and purposes of the gallant sailor who led the fleet.
Order of battle and plan of attack upon. Charleston.
Nothing now is wanting to the immediate inauguration of the plan of operations thus drawn out, save that ebb-tide shall come, as that condition of the water will afford the greatest facilities for steering. This will be at eleven o'clock; but it lacks an hour or two of that — so let us look about us, and take in the elements of the panorama that stretches out before us. We are on board the Coast Survey steamer Bibb, which, for the purpose of obtaining the best possible view, has been carried into the Swash channel, at a point three and a quarter miles from Fort Sumter, and about two and a half from the batteries that flank the entrance to the harbor on Sullivan's and Morris Islands. We are, consequently, looking directly up into the harbor and the city, which lies in the vista beyond — its wharves and ships, houses and steeples, standing out in the background like a picture. Steeples and roofs are crowded with spectators, the neighboring shores are lined with onlookers, just as when, now two years ago, less two days, the same spectators stood on the same coignes of vantage to see, in the same harbor, another bombardment, while another flag from that which now flaunts in our eyes, floated from the walls of Sumter. 'Tis a brilliant day, with the sky and air of June; the yellow butterflies of spring flit in bright flocks, and the white-bellied sea-gulls swoop through the air, soon, alas! to be filled with other and more terrible winged things! We have before us a mounted telescope of two hundred magnifying power, which consequently brings batteries, shore and ships, within a couple of hundred yards of us, though the whole scene is perfectly visible to the unassisted eye. We are facing Fort Sumter, and looking directly up the harbor. We have, accordingly, Sullivan's Island on our right hand, and Morris Island on our left. These two islands end each in curved points of land, and at their nearest approach, are separated by an interval of a mile, formed by the entrance to the harbor, and just on the middle of this passage, and right between the two points of land, stands Fort Sumter, built on an artificial island made in mid-channel. Both Morris and Sullivan's Islands are scarcely removed above the level of the sea, which, indeed, would probably invade and cover them, were it not that the margin of the islands on their sea-frontage, is marked by a continuous narrow strip of low sand-hills, some five or six feet in height. Behind the second ridge of the islands, are alternate salt marsh, sand, and clumps of wood of live-oak, palmetto and tangled tropical undergrowths. The whole coast of South-Carolina and Georgia, consists of a labyrinth of islands and islets of this character, round which reedy creeks and rivers wind. With Sullivan's Island on our right, we run the eye up to its upper or north end, formed by Breach Inlet. Guarding this point, is Breach Inlet battery — a powerful sand-work, having a circular dome-like bomb-proof magazine in its centre. It is, however, three miles from the entrance of the harbor, and will not be able to molest our ships on their passage. Its chief value has been to aid blockade-runners, as it covers Maffit's Channel (the passage through which the great majority of these craft run in) from the approach of our blockaders. At present, it will serve to oppose our landing troops at Breach Inlet, should the attempt be made. Coming down along the shore of Sullivan's Island, from Breach Inlet, we next reach Fort Beauregard, a powerful sand battery, mounting very heavy guns, and situated on the turn of the island a little right of the “Moultrie House” hotel, from which it is separated only by five intervening sea-shore houses. Next, to the right of the channel up and opposite Fort Sumter, is Fort Moultrie, which has been prodigiously strengthened by the rebel engineers, both in its means of offence and of defence. Looking up the harbor, and still to the right, the eye takes in the extensive line of works, en cremaillaire, called  the Redan, and which has been formed by throwing up intrenchments on the line of the break-water erected some years ago by the United States Government, for the protection of that portion of the harbor. Beyond the Redan, up near the head of the harbor, on an island, appears Castle Pinckney, in the vista, looking like the Battery in New-York City as seen from the sea-entrance. So far as the eye can see we have now exhausted the fortifications on the right hand side of the harbor. It now remains briefly to glance at those that line the left hand side. In the mean while, Fort Sumter rises up conspicuously before us in mid-chanel. We can see every brick in its walls. Two faces out of its five, and two angles only, come within sight from our point of view, namely, the south face, on which the sally-port and wharf are placed, and the eastern face. You are too familiar with the general features of this historic work to make any description necessary. It was, you know, pierced for two tiers of guns, but the lower embrasures had been filled in to strengthen it. From the top of the fort frown the barbette guns, which comprise all the heaviest portion of its armament. You can count distinctly each barbette gun-one, two, three, four, five on this; one, two, three, four on that, and so on all round, and it is easy to see that the ordnance is of the most formidable character. From a flag-staff on one of the angles of the fort, floats the confederate flag; from a flag-staff on the opposite angle floats the palmetto flag. Passing now to the left hand side of the harbor, on James Island, we first have the Wappoo battery, near Wappoo Creek, effectually commanding the embouchure of Ashley River and the left side of the city. Next, coming down, we have Fort Johnston, and between it and Castle Pinckney, on an artificial island raised by the rebels, on the “middle ground,” is Fort Ripley. Coming down to Cumming's Point, directly opposite Moultrie, is the Cumming's Point battery, named by the rebels Battery Bee, after the general of that name; south of Battery Bee, on Morris Island, is Fort Wagner, a very extensive sand battery of the most powerful construction. Half-way down Morris Island, again, from Fort Wagner, is a new sandwork erected by the rebels since I surveyed the ground from the blockading fleet, a fortnight ago. Finally, down at Lighthouse Inlet, which divides Morris from Folly Island, is another fortification, covering an attempt at a landing at that point. Such is the formidable panorama the eye takes in, in sweeping around the harbor and its approaches, and which you can imagine pictures itself on the retina in much less time than is required for the description.
Iv.And now, before the horrible fascination of battle shall whirl all thought and feeling into a tumultuous chaos, is it possible to realize for a moment the true nature of the situation before us? With respect both to the obstacles we are to meet, and the engines with which we are to meet them, every thing is novel and unprecedented. Comparison is simply impossible, for where there are no points of resemblance comparison is out of the question. But can you imagine, if one were permitted to play with the elements of time and space — the shade of Nelson transferred from his gun-deck off Trafalgar, after but little over half a century, and placed on board of one of those iron craft before us; and can you imagine the sensations of that consummate master of all the elements of naval warfare as known in his day? He must be help-less as a child, and bewildered as a man in a dream. From his splendid three-decker, the Victory, carrying its hundred guns, and towering majestically on the water, which it rides like a thing of life, he finds himself imprisoned in an iron casing, the whole hull and frame of which is submerged in the water, the waves washing clean over its deck, and depending for its defensive power on a couple of guns, of a calibre that would astonish him, placed in a circular tower, rising from the deck amidships. This turret is in thick-ness eleven inches of wrought-iron, revolves on an axis by the delicate appliances of steam engineering, and contains the entire armament and fighting crew of the ship. The fire, the animation, the life of an old-time naval fight, when men gave and took, exposed to plain view — when ships fought yard-arm to yard-arm, and human nature in its intensest exaltation appeared, are here wholly out of the question, with the combatants shut up in impenetrable iron, and delivering their fire by refined process of mathematical and mechanical appliance. Nor are the outward shapes of these craft less divergent from all that the world has hitherto seen of naval models than are their internal economy and fighting arrangements removed from all previous modes. The majesty of a first-class man-of-war, with its lines of beauty and strength, on which the aesthetic instincts of ages have been expended, is here replaced by purely geometrical combinations of iron, in which the one paramount and all-controlling consideration is the resisting power of lines, angles, and surfaces. As they stretch in horrid file before us, along the shore of Morris Island, awaiting the signal from the flag-ship to move, those nine ships, comprising the three different models represented by the Iron-sides, the Monitors, and the Keokuk, one might almost fancy that some of the pachydermous monsters which paleontology brings to view from the “dark backward and abysm of time,” had returned in an iron resurrection; and the spectacle they presented to the rebels from their posts of outlook, must have been one of portentous grandeur. Precisely at half-past 12 o'clock the fleet begins to move on to the attack. The line of battle is formed in the order assigned to each ship in the Admiral's programme, and the position as marked on the diagram — the Keokuk, which brings up the rear of the line, lying down nearly opposite Lighthouse Inlet, and the others  extending on at intervals of a cable's length — the Weehawken leading the van. The wooden gunboat fleet lies in reserve outside the bar, close by the position occupied by the blockaders. The head of the line is some four miles from the position the fleet is to make before opening fire, and all the batteries on Morris Island — they must pass within easy range of each — have to be run. The fleet is hardly in motion, however, when the leading vessel, the Weehawken, stops, and all the others have to stop, also. The cause of this delay, as we afterward learned, was the derangement of a raft which had been attached to the Weehawken for the purpose of exploding torpedoes and clearing away obstructions. This instrument is one of the inventions of Mr. Ericsson's fertile genius, and consists of a raft about twelve feet square, composed of transverse timbers, eighteen inches in thickness, fitting on to the prow of the vessel. From the forward part of this raft, suspended from a cable six feet in the water, was to be a large projectile, containing several thousand pounds of powder, so constructed that the line of fraction would be forward and laterally, and capable of being exploded form the turret by means of a lanyard. One of the two of these rafts which had been brought down was attached to the Weehawken, which for this reason was assigned the leading position in the line. Owing to the purely experimental character of the device, however, the projectile was not attached to the raft, but in its place a number of grappling-irons had been affixed, which it was hoped would be found of service in exploding and tearing out torpedoes. In the course of getting under way, these grapplings had become fouled in the anchor-cable, and this was the cause of the delay of the Weehawken and of the whole fleet. It takes an hour to set this matter to rights, and at half-past 1 o'clock the fleet is once more under way. Depend upon it, there were two parties that watched the progress of the iron fleet with an intensity of interest that words are too feeble to express-we, spectators from our vessels, and the still more interested spectators in the forts, who kept up a perpetual signalizing of its approach from point to point. Slowly the leading vessel, followed by the other eight iron-clads, moves up the main ship-channel — the shore of Morris Island, against which from our point of view they seem to rest, forming a fixed point, by which we measure the progress of the fleet. The first battery to whose fire it will be exposed is Fort Wagner, and one fixes his eye on it and on the Weehawken, approaching nearer and nearer, for the fleet will there undergo its first fiery baptism. Now, then, she comes within range of the fort: no fire. She passes across it: still no fire! The second ship comes up, and meets the same silent reception; and so on, one by one, till, with the Keokuk, the whole nine file by without a single shot from this seemingly formidable work. Meantime, while the fleet is passing Wagner unmolested, the leading vessel has come up with the next rebel work--Battery Bee. The same silent reception for her; the same silent reception for the whole fleet! What is the meaning of this? The enemy is obviously holding back his fire until he can deliver it with the greatest possible effect. The line has now passed across the front of Morris Island, and rounds to make the entrance of the harbor, coming up within the circle of the fire of Fort Sumter and the batteries on Sullivan's Island. The suspense becomes painful.
There was silence deep as death,In an instant a hollow square of smoke rises from the top of Sumter — a hollow square of flame shoots up — a crash counterfeiting “Jove's dread clamors” bursts on the ear, and a whole broadside streams down from the barbette guns. It is precisely four minutes past three in the afternoon. While the Weehawken is receiving this fire, the others are gradually coming up to the same position; but the leading vessel, instead of passing on above Sumter, so as to place herself in the prescribed station opposite the north-west face, sheers off to the right, and hangs estopped between Sumter and Moultrie! Heavens! what can be the matter? From our point of view, no cause for this unlooked — for development can be perceived, but to those on the Weehawken it is only too apparent. Stretching from a point close to the north-eastern angle of Fort Sumter, completely across the channel to Fort Moultrie, is a stout hawser, floating on lager-beer casks, on which are hung nets, seines, and cables, strung with torpedoes. The vessel comes afoul of this, whisks up the nasty entanglements with its propeller, is thus deprived of all motive power, and is at the mercy of the current, to be drifted ashore into the hands of the rebels. If this fatality was not actually realized by the iron-clads, it was owing to the admirable skill of the captains of the foremost ships, who, when their vessels were just on the point of fouling, sheered off, and saved themselves and the fleet. The right-hand channel being thus obstructed, it remains to see what can be done with the left, between Sumter and Cumming's Point. But this, too, is still more effectually blockaded by a row of piles, rising ten feet above the water, and extending across the whole width of the passage. Looking up the harbor, another row of piles discloses itself, stretching across from Fort Ripley on the middle ground to Fort Johnson. It does not stretch entirely across, however, for midway is an opening, inviting the passage of the fleet. Submerged in the water, underneath that opening, is a torpedo filled with — incredible though the statement may seem, it is an actual fact--five thousand pounds of powder! Furthermore, above this first line of piles is a second, and above the second a third--while above all, and  just behind the upper line of obstructions, are the three rebel iron-clads, drawn up in battle array, and vomiting huge clouds of smoke. You can readily conceive that this unlooked — for estoppel utterly deranged the original intentions. The rebels were quite as well aware as we that the north-west face of Sumter is its weakest point; that it was, in fact, never finished, and, therefore, that it would be first attacked; and they used every means which admirable engineering skill could suggest to prevent our reaching it. Thus brought to a pause, it only remained for the iron-clads to take up such positions as they could. And the complication was further increased by the ill behavior of the flag-ship, the Ironsides. While steaming along up through the passage in front of Sumter, she is caught by the tideway, and veered off from her course, and her huge iron frame refusing to obey her rudder, she becomes in great part unmanageable. This embarrassed not her only, but all that portion of the fleet following her. The two monitors immediately behind (the Catskill and the Nantucket) fell foul of her, the one on one side and the other on the other, and it was full fifteen minutes before they could be got clear and pass on. In this plight it only remained for Admiral Du Pont to signal to the fleet to disregard the movements of the flag-ship. This he did, and the ships then assumed such positions as were available and they could gain, the whole number being at the mouth of the harbor, between Cumming's Point and Sullivan's Island, and opposite the north-east and eastern face of Fort Sumter, at distances of from six hundred to a thousand yards. While the manoeuvres rapidly indicated in these paragraphs are going on, you must not suppose the enemy is inactive. The powerful work on Cumming's Point, named Battery Bee, opens, the long-range rifle-ordnance of Fort Beauregard join in, Moultrie hurls its heavy metal, the fifty guns that line the Redan swell the fire, and the tremendous armament of Sumter vomits forth its fiery hail. There now ensues a period of not more than thirty minutes, which forms the climax and white heat of the fight; for though from the time when fire was opened on the head of the approaching line to the time when the retiring fleet passed out of the enemy's range, there was an interval of two hours and a half, (from half-past 2 till five,) yet the essence of the fight was shut in those thirty tremendous minutes. The best resources of the descriptive art, I care not in whose hand, are feeble to paint so terrific and awful a reality. Such a fire, or any thing even approaching it, was simply never seen before. The mailed ships are in the focus of a concentric fire of the five powerful works already indicated, from which they are removed only from five to eight hundred yards, and which in all could not have mounted less than three hundred guns. And, understand, these not the lighter ordnance, such as thirty-two or forty-two-pounders, which form the ordinary armament of forts, but of the very heaviest calibre — the finest and largest guns from the spoils of the Norfolk navy-yard, the splendid and heavy ten and eleven-inch guns cast at the Tredegar Works, and the most approved English rifled guns, (Whitworth and others,) of the largest calibre made. There was something almost pathetic in the spectacle of those little floating circular towers, exposed to the crushing weight of those tons of metal, hurled against them with the terrific force of modern projectiles, and with such charges of powder as were never before dreamed of in artillery firing. During the climax of the fire a hundred and sixty shots were counted in a single minute! Some of the commanders of the iron-clads afterward told me that the shot struck their vessels as fast as the ticking of a watch, and not less than three thousand live hundred rounds could have been fired by the rebels during the brief engagement! It was less of the character of an ordinary artillery duel, and more of the proportions of a war of the Titans in the elder mythologies. While the fleet is receiving the fire from the forts, what, in the mean time, are the iron-clads doing in return? On the order being given to disregard the movements of the flag-ship, the brilliantly audacious Rhind ran his vessel, the Keokuk, up through the others and laid it seemingly under the very walls of Sumter, and within a little more than five hundred yards from it. Close behind him, within six hundred yards of the Fort, is the Catskill, commanded by George Rodgers, a soul of courage all compact; and to both of them one could not help applying the exclamation of Nelson at Trafalgar: “See how Colling-wood, that noble fellow, carries his ship into the fight!” Close by is the Montauk, commanded by the heroic Worden ; while not far removed are the Passaic, the Patapsco, the Nahant, the Nantucket, the Weehawken, and the Ironsides. The whole fleet is devoting itself mainly to the face of Fort Sumter presented to it, with the exception of the Ironsides, which, from its position, can do better work on Fort Moultrie, and is pouring forth its terrific broadside from its seven ten-inch guns on that work. Could you look through the smoke, and through the flame-lit ports, into one of those revolving towers, a spectacle would meet your eye such as Vulcan's stithy might present. Here are the two huge guns which form the armament of each monitor — the one eleven and the other fifteen inches in diameter of bore. The gunners, begrimed with powder and stripped to the waist, are loading the gun. The charge of powder--thirty-five pounds to each charge — is passed up rapidly from below; the shot, weighing four hundred and twenty pounds, is hoisted up by mechanical appliances to the muzzle of the gun, and rammed home; the gun is run out to the port, and tightly “compressed ;” the port is open for an instant, the captain of the gun stands behind, lanyard in hand--“Ready, fire!” and the  enormous projectile rushes through its huge para-bola, with the weight of ten thousand tons, home to its mark. That mark is the face of Sumter, which already flying displays palpable proofs of the horrid impact. Half — a dozen ugly pock-marks show conspicuous, and a huge crater is formed in the parapet near the eastern angle. We look with interest at these effects, and look forward with good hope to seeing a breach at length effected, if only the iron-clads can remain long enough under fire to batter away. If only they could have remained! But what craft, pray, could remain under such a hurricane of fire? And what is this coining down out of the fight? It is the Keokuk; we know her by her double turret. She has defied Sumter under its very walls, and now comes out to report to the flag-ship that she has received her death-blow, and is in a sinking condition! The flag-ship herself has had one of her port-shutters shot away, thus exposing her gun-deck, and red-hot shot has penetrated her wooden bows. In addition, three others showed signs of disablement, and there was little more than sufficient daylight left for the fleet to gain its old anchorage. At five o'clock the Admiral makes signal to retire.
And the boldest held their breath
For a while.
V.Beyond the fact that half the fleet was disabled, neither those who were engaged, nor we who were spectators, had any means of ascertaining the nature of the damage our iron-clads had sustained until the fleet had retired and resumed its old anchorage off the shore of Morris Island. At the conclusion of the fight, however, I obtained the use of a steam-tug, and was thus enabled to pass from vessel to vessel. I spent the entire night in this work, and have thus the means to report definitely of the amount and nature of the damage they received. From the nature of the circumstances, however, the indications can be purely of a descriptive character, without any claim to scientific precision. The Nahant received in all thirty wounds, several of them bad fractures of the deck and sides, below and above the water-line. The most fatal blow, however, was given by a heavy rifled shot, which struck the pilot-house, and dislodged several of the bolts, one of which, driven violently inward, wounded all of the three inmates of the pilot-house — the Captain, (Captain Downs, Massachusetts,) the Pilot, (Isaac Sofield, New-Jersey,) and the Quartermaster, (Edward Cobb, Massachusetts.) The Quartermaster had been struck by the bolt on the back of the skull, which received a compound comminuted fracture. When I saw the poor fellow, late at night, he was in a state of coma, his life ebbing away. He died this morning. The pilot's wound was a severe contusion of the neck and shoulder, and he is doing well. The Captain received merely a slight contusion of the foot. Other bolts were driven in, in the turret also, and the following were wounded: John McAlister, seaman, (Canada,) concussion of brain; John Jackson, seaman, (Massachusetts ;) Roland Martin, seaman, (Massachusetts ;) and James Murry, seaman, (Massachusetts,) slightly hurt by bolts in the turret. The Passaic also received twenty-five or thirty wounds. The most extraordinary shot was from a large ten-inch rifled projectile, which struck the top of the turret, scooping out a huge portion of the iron, breaking all of the eleven plates of an inch thickness each, and spending its force on the pilot-house, (which is placed on the top of the turret,) in which it made a crater three inches deep, and producing such a shock on the pilot-house as to start its top and raise it up three inches! Had not the force of the impact been broken on the turret, there can be little doubt that this shot would have gone clean through the pilot-house. Another shot hit the turret, forcing the place struck inward, and producing a big swell on the interior. The same shock disabled the carriage of the eleven-inch gun, while portions of the interior iron-casing fell down, and, lodging in the groove of the turret, stopped its revolution. The Nantucket, besides receiving a number of wounds, had her turret so jarred that the cover of the port could not be opened, and consequently the fifteen-inch gun could not be used. These three are all of the monitor type. In addition, the other monitors each received shots more or less, though not disabling them. Thus the Catskill was hit twenty times. The worst wound was from a rifled shot, which broke the deck-plating forward, going through it, breaking a beam beneath, and spending its force on an iron stanchion, which it settled half an inch. The Ironsides was frequently struck. One of the shots broke off and carried away one of her port shutters, and her wooden bows were penetrated by shell, though they were prevented from doing the damage they otherwise must have done, by Commodore Turner's precaution of protecting the exposed part of the vessel with sand-bags. But the poor Keokuk —— she, of all others, was the most fearfully maltreated. This vessel was struck ninety times, and she had nineteen holes above and below the water-line, some of a size through which a boy might crawl. Her turrets (five and three quarter inches of iron in thick-ness) were fairly riddled and came out of the contest mere sieves. During the action twelve of her men were wounded, among whom was her commander, the gallant Rhind. The others are as follows: Alexander McIntosh, Acting Ensign, dangerously wounded; Charles McLaughlin, seaman, dangerously wounded ; James Ryan, seaman, severely; William McDonald, seaman, severely; Richard Nicholson, Quartermaster, slightly; David Chaplin, seaman, slightly; C. B. Mott, landsman, slightly ; J. W. Abbott, seaman, slightly; J. O'Connor, landsman, slightly; George Wilson, seaman, slightly; J. Brown, seaman, slightly; Henry Swords, seaman, slightly. During the night her pumps were kept at work, to throw out the leaks she was making. The sea  had become somewhat rough, however, and was washing in through the holes in her bows. By daylight it became obvious that she must sink. I had remained on board the Catskill during the night, and at six o'clock word was brought down that the Keokuk, which was hard by us, had made a signal of distress. Passing up on deck, we saw she was rapidly settling forward. At her signal boats and tugs had come to her assistance, and were busy removing her wounded men. Barely time enough was afforded to get off them and her crew, for she had settled so much that the water was pouring into her turrets. Two or three of the men, indeed, had to jump into the sea, and were hauled into the small-boats. Suddenly she gives a lurch to one side, and a lurch to the other, and plunges under. She went down at eight o'clock at the spot of her original anchorage, near Lighthouse Inlet, and all that is visible of her is the upper portion of her smoke-stack. Thus ended the brief and glorious career of this interesting vessel — the first iron-clad ever sunk in battle. Her story must firm a most important chapter in the history of these new engines of naval warfare, and her fate presents an astounding example of the frightful power of modern projectiles. Of course, it is impossible to leave the corpse there to be resurrected by the rebels, and it has been determined to blow her up to-morrow morning with the torpedo exploder; so that, by a grim kind of satire this instrument will he first tested in blowing up one of our own ships!
Vi.Such were the results of these thirty minutes fire which presented themselves to the naval chiefs, when the reports came in the day after the battle. There was but one conviction in the minds of all who were made acquainted with these facts, whether among the naval people engaged or intelligent outside observers — the fight could not be renewed. And yet it was fully expected, on the night of the battle, that another trial would be made in the morning. I saw many of the captains of the iron-clads during that night. All were ready to resume the battle, though each man felt that he was going to an inevitable sacri-fice. I confess I prayed that the fiery cup might pass from them, and that no impetuosity might prompt our leader to throw the fleet again into that frightful fire. The grand old sailor, the noble Du Pont, who is loved with singular devotion by all under his command, combines in his character that fiery impetuosity which marked Dundonald, with a rare intellectual coolness and consummate mental poise. No man could possibly feel with greater intensity all the instincts and motives that prompted a renewal of the battle; and yet no man could possibly see with more clearness the blind madness of such an attempt. He dared to be wise. Admiral Du Pont calls no councils of war; but on his own motion decided that the contest must end here. This afternoon, there was an informal gathering of the captains of the iron-clads on board of the flag-ship. Rarely was ever a fleet so commanded. These men are the very flower of the navy. The lips must refuse their office to one who would breathe a whisper of suspicion against their courage or their devotion. Now there was but one opinion shared in common by all these men — the fruitlessness of renewing the attack at present. Let us see on what considerations their opinion is founded. Viewed strategically, Charleston harbor forms a cul de suc, four miles in length from its entrance at Fort Sumter up to the city. This blind passage varies in width from one to three miles, and is capable of bearing defensive works on each side and on shoal places in mid-channel. On these, natural advantages have been brought to bear time finest engineering skill in the Confederacy (and it was the flower of the genius of the country) during a period of two years. Lee, Beauregard, and Ripley in succession have exhausted their professional efforts to make it impregnable. Every thing that the most improved modern artillery and unlimited resources of labor can do has been done to make the passage of a fleet impossible. And it is impregnable. Sebastopol was as nothing to it. Our fleet got but to the entrance of the harbor. It never got within it. Had the iron-clads succeeded in passing the obstructions, they would still have found those miles of batteries to run. They would have entered an Inferno which, like the portals of Dante's hell, might well bear the flaming legend: “Who enters here leaves hope behind.” Not a point at which they would not have found themselves.
'Mid upper, nether and surrounding fires.They pass out of the focus of fire of Forts Sumter, Moultrie, Beauregard, and Bee, and they find themselves arrested under the ranges of Sumter, the Redan, Johnston, and Ripley. They get beyond this, and a concentric fire from Ripley, Pinckney, the Wappoo battery and the guns of the city falls upon them! Merely to run by batteries, as was done at the forts below New-Orleans, is not a very difficult thing, even for vessels not iron-clad; but to be anchored as it were under such fires as these, is what no ships were ever called upon to suffer. I think I am justified in saying that the Admiral and his staff and the captains commanding the iron fleet have all along well understood the task that was given them to do, and that they entertained no illusions regarding it. But both the navy department and the public have — illusions as to the nature of the work to be done and delusion as to the instruments with which it was to be done. They saw all the weaknesses of the monitors as well as their strength. They knew that their working depended on nice mechanical combinations easily deranged. They knew that their powers had never been tested. But with the usual liberal logic that characterizes them, our people took every thing for granted.  Here was a universal panacea for all our ills. Here was a key to unlock all riddles. Take these iron-clads, says the Navy Department, knock Sumter into a brick-pile and sail proudly up to demand the surrender of Charleston. Indeed, so preposterously did the Government regard tile matter, that it was not even thought necessary to have a cooperating land expedition. It will astound the country to learn that the whole force which General Hunter could spare from his limited command was under seven thousand men! Of course he could do nothing against the force ready to oppose him. From information I received from the Spanish Consul, who came out from that city a few weeks ago, the rebel troops for the defence of Charleston numbered at the time fifty-five thousand men, and their railroad facilities would easily enable them, in twenty-four hours, to bring the force up to a hundred thousand. General Hunter frankly told Admiral Du Pont that he could do nothing to aid him. He could garner in what the navy reaped, but he could do nothing in the heat and labor of the field. The military force, indeed, never got any further up than Stono Inlet, a dozen miles from Charleston harbor, where it was to effect a landing on Folly Island for the purpose of making a diversion. I can make no report of what was done, if any thing, but it had no direct bearing on the business in hand. Thus left alone, the naval chief had eleven hundred men, (the whole force of the iron fleet,) with which to take and hold a dozen forts! Could the ecstasy of folly further go? These intimations, however, will overshoot the mark if they convey the impression that Admiral Du Pont lacked faith in the enterprise, or that he entered upon it unwillingly. It was, in fact, no case for either a blind faith or an unreasoning skepticism. Too little was known, as well of the real character of the rebel defences as of the true merits of the iron-clad vessels, to justify the one attitude or the other. It was absolutely necessary to try certain experiments as the basis of any definitive plan of siege — for it was never thought it would be less than a ten days affair. The operations of yesterday, therefore, may be regarded in the light of a reconnoissance. The reconnoissance resulted in a repulse, though not a disaster. That it was not so is due to the admirable skill of our naval leaders. In the process we have learnt valuable lessons. And now it remains true to-day as ever, that Charleston may still be successfully assailed. But that will begin to be possible for us when, casting off childish illusions as to special arms, an adequate expedition shall be sent, military as well as naval, and in which the navy shall only be required to play its legitimate part.
Correspondence between Major-General Hunter and Admiral Du Pont.
Charleston Mercury account.
The batteries on Sullivan's Island.Fort Moultrie opened the engagement. At three o'clock the head of the grim procession of monitors having come within reason-range, the word was given, and the first shot of the batteries went whizzing at the iron fleet. In a very few minutes the batteries of Sumter, with the earthworks of Morris and Sullivan's Islands were mingling their deep voices in the chorus of the fray. During the entire fight, the batteries of Fort Moultrie maintained a well-directed fire against the monitors that happened to be nearest, and the frequency with which the Yankees turned from the main effort against Fort Sumter to give a spiteful shot to Fort Moultrie, showed how effectively and accurately the men at the latter post were hurling their metal on the foe. There was but one casualty at Fort Moultrie. A shot from one of the monitors cut away the flag-staff, a few feet above the parapet, and the staff fell upon private Lusby, company F, First South-Carolina (regular) infantry, inflicting injuries from the effect of which he soon died. The garrison of Fort Moultrie it would not be proper to enumerate. It consists of the First South-Carolina (regular) infantry. The commandant of the post is Col. William Butler, of the same regiment, and the companies during the action were severally commanded by Captain T. A. Huguenin, Captain S. Burnet, Captain Constantine Rivers, First Lieutenant E. A. Erwin, and Captain R. Preston Smith, the last-named officer having special charge of the mortar battery. The closest range into which the enemy ventured was estimated by the officers of the Fort at about one thousand two hundred yards. The flag-staff has been replaced, and as no other portion of the Fort sustained any damage whatever during the engagement, the post is in excellent condition to join in another trial of strength with the turreted armada. Battery Bee, on Sullivan's Island, just opposite Fort Sumter, was commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Simkins, of tile First South-Carolina (regular) infantry, and manned by companies of that regiment. The captains commanding the companies at this post engaged were Robert de Treville, Warren Adams, and W. T. Tatum. The battery was the recipient of occasional shots from the enemy, but was not in any way injured, nor were there any casualties among the men. During the fight General Ripley was present at Battery Bee. Whenever the enemy may choose to renew the attack, if his object should be to dash into the harbor, Battery Bee will have a far more important part to play. The Beauregard battery, with three of its guns, also took part in the general melee of heavy artillery, and twice received a broadside from the enemy. This battery, commanded by Captain J. A. Sitgreaves, First regiment South-Carolina (regular) artillery, is situated on the Sullivan's Island beach, north-east of Fort Moultrie, a little beyond the Moultrie House, and is manned from the First regiment South-Carolina (regular) artillery, First Lieut. Erwin commanding, and company B, First regiment South-Carolina (regular) infantry, Capt. Warley commanding. The battery was in no respect damaged, although many of the Yankee round shot fell upon the sand in the immediate neighborhood. The forces on Sullivan's Island (which is a portion of the sub-division commanded by Brig.-Gen. Trapier) were under the immediate command of Colonel D. M. Keitt, of the Twentieth regiment South-Carolina volunteers. Both General Trapier and Col. Keitt were on the island at the time of action, and during the firing were moving from battery to battery.