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17 Series I Volume I- Serial 1 - Charleston

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Page 17 Chapter I. OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C.

For the second I prepared ladders and runways to take in re-enforcements and provisions at the embrasures rapidly, one embrasure being enlarged so as to admit barrels, and also cleared the passage around to that main gate. A large stone traverse was also commenced to cover the main gates from the fire from Cummings Point. The masons were put at work cutting openings through the walls of the officers' quarters so as to admit a free communication through them, on the first and second floors, from one flank to the other. The battery in the right should angle, first tier, was also being improved by substituting a 42-pounder for a 32-pounder, cutting into the magazine wall, so as to allow the gun on the george to be used against the batteries, and cutting any one side of the embrasure, so as to allow the first gun on the right flank to be used in the same way.

The quantity of bread became very small, and only half rations of it were allowed to the men. The enemy's steamers were very active carrying supplies to their batteries.

April 10.-Every one, by order of the commanding officer, Major Anderson, changed his quarters, into the gun casemates to-day. The work on the traverse progressed well. Lieutenant R. K. Meade, Engineers, being placed on ordnance duty, found the supply of cartridges on hand to be too small, and took immediate measures to increase the supply by cutting up all the surplus blankets and extra company clothing to make cartridge bags. The curb for the traverse at the right shoulder angle was completed and put together on the terre-plein at nightfall, and after dark raised up on the parapet and filled with earth, which had been hoisted from the parade. The working party, under Lieutenant Snyder, increased by a large detail from the command, completed this work about midnight.

The supply of bread failed to-day, and its absence was supplied by rice obtained by picking over some damaged rice, which, while spread out to dry in one of the quarters, had been filled with pieces of glass from the window-panes shattered by the concussion of guns fired in practice.

A second battery was unmasked to-day on Sullivan's Island, nearer the western point of the island than the one last discovered. It is of one gun, and very heavy-evidently a 9-inch Dahlgren gun, or a 10-inch columbiad.

The enemy's steamers were very active at night, but no alarm occurred.

April 11.-At early dawn I detected the presence of the floating battery on the upper end of Sullivan's Island. It is situated between the end of the jetty and the steamboat wharf, where, evidently distrusting her qualities as a floating battery intended to breach the gorge wall at short range, she has been run on shore at high water, and, being left by the receding tide, has become a fixed battery. Her position gives her the advantage of sweeping with her guns the whole of the left flank of the fort, and thus rendering it impossible for any vessel with supplies to lie anywhere along this flank, while the breakwater in front protects her from our ricochet shots.

The stone traverse at the gorge has been raised to-day high enough to protect the main gate, and the traverse on the top of the parapet has been strengthened by the addition of sand bags on the top and sides, and braced in the rear by extra gun carriages. The communications cut through the walls of the quarters are finished, and all the water pipes and faucets prepared for use in case of fire. The third splinter proof shelter on the right flank, barbette tier, is finished. These shelters are formed of the timbers of extra gun carriages inclined against the interior

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Page 17 Chapter I. OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C.

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