The raking fire from Fort Sumter
against Fort Moultrie
was terribly destructive, and when viewed in connection with the fact that no life was lost, is the most extraordinary case ever recorded in history.
As you enter, the eye falls upon the battered walls of the archway, with openings in some places large enough for windows.
In other places may be seen the hanging splinters of the rafters, large pieces of ceiling seemingly about to drop, while the holes in the roof throw a clear light over the scene of destruction, which renders it painfully impressive.
It would be an almost impossible task to count the number of balls discharged at this devoted fortress.
All of the officers' quarters were battered with seven, eight, or ten balls, which penetrated the whole depth of the building.
The western wall on the upper balcony was entirely shot away.
The barracks were almost entirely destroyed.
The furnace for heating hot shot was struck four times, the flag of the Confederate States
received three shots, and the Palmetto
flag four--a rather singular and peculiar circumstance, when viewed in connection with the seven Confederate States
The merlons of sand-bags, &c., remain unbroken.
On the outside walls we counted over one hundred shots.
Laborers were engaged in clearing away fallen bricks, &c. It will be necessary to pull down the old walls and rebuild anew.
Even the beds and bedding in the officers' quarters and the men's barracks were cut and torn into splinters and shreds.
Had it not been for the bomb-proof shelter, the loss of life would no doubt have been appalling.
One shell entered the brick wall of Major Ripley
's bedroom, ran down the wall, and burst on the bureau immediately over the head of the bed. Our limited time prevented us from visiting the battery to the north of Fort Moultrie
We learn, however, that though many of the buildings around it had been struck several times, and fences, trees, &c., cut away, the battery sustained no injury.
The buildings damaged.
The following were the houses destroyed or damaged:
Mr. Henry Oetjen
's house, a two-story frame dwelling, almost in range of the Floating Battery.
This was completely riddled.
's summer .residence, partially destroyed.
's house, in front of the Enfilade Battery.
This wis removed previous to the cannonading.
Mr. George M. Coffin
's summer residence nearly destroyed.
's house partially destroyed.
Mrs. C. Fitzsimon
's house received seven shots, and is mostly destroyed.
's house, back of Fort Moultrie
, almost riddled.
Mr. Benjamin Mordecai
's house, badly damaged.
Mr. T. Savage Heyward
's house, badly damaged.
Mr. F. P. Elford
's house — roof battered in and weather-boarding torn off.
Mr. Thomas Farr Capers
's house was struck several times.
's house, in front of the Enfilade Battery, was removed by order of the authorities.
The Moultrie House
received four shots, one cutting away one of the main pillars, and making a clean breach through the building from one end to the other.
The other shots have damaged the walls and ceiling to a very considerable extent.
Fortunately, no one was in at the time.
Mr. James M. Caldwell
's house received several shots.
Mr. David Briggs
's house was badly shattered.
's house received one shot.
's house was damaged by a shell, which burst on the roof and broke through the window.
The fence in front of the Presbyterian Church was shot away, but the church is uninjured.
The railroad track in front of Fort Moultrie
was also torn up by the shot and shell.
The small building, formerly used as the Quartermaster's Department, United States Army, was very badly shattered, and large portions of the wall cut away.
Several other houses were struck with one or more balls, tearing off the weather-boarding and shattering the roofs.
The largest number of the houses, however, are untouched.
Providentially no hot shot was thrown from Sumter
— probably from the fact that the garrison had no fuel.
Many of those whose houses have been battered esteem it more fortunate than otherwise, and have determined to allow the buildings to remain, as far as possible, in the condition in which they were found after the battle, as a memento of the glorious 12th and 13th days of April, 1861.--Charleston Courier
, April 20.