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19 Series I Volume I- Serial 1 - Charleston

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Page 19 Chapter I. OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C.

Casemate tier: Right flank, one 42-pounder, four 32-pounders. Right face, three 42-pounders. Left face, ten 32-pounders. Left flank, five 32-pounders. Gorge, two 32-pounders. Total in casemate, 21 guns.

Total available in both tiers, 48 guns.

Besides the above, there were arranged on the parade, to serve as mortars, one 10-inch columbiad to throw shells into Charleston and four 8-inch columbiads to throw shells into the batteries on Cummings Point. The casemate guns were the only ones used. Of these, those that bore on Cummings Point were the 42-pounder in the pan-coupe of the right gorge angle, the 32-pounder next to it on the gorge, which, by cutting into the brick wall, had been made to traverse sufficiently, and the 32-pounder next the angle on the right flank, which, by cutting away the side of the embrasure, had been made to bear on a portion of the Point, although not on the breaching batteries.

The guns of the first tier, that bore on Fort Johnson, were four 32-pounders on the left flank. (Of these, one embrasure had been, by order, bricked up.)

The guns that bore on the three batteries on the west end of Sullivan's Island were ten 32-pounders, situated on the left face, and one at the pan-coupe of the salient angle (four embrasures being bricked up).

The guns bearing on Fort Moultrie were two 42-pounders, situated on the right face, and one at the pan-coupe of the right shoulder angle.

The supply of cartridges, 700 in number, with which the engagement commenced, became so much reduced by the middle of the day, although the six needles in the fort were kept steadily employed, that the firing was forced to slacken, and to be confined to six guns-two if ring towards Morriw Island, two towards Fort Moultrie, and two towards the batteries on the west end of Sullivan's Island.

At 1 o'clock two United States men-of-war were seen off the bar, and soon after a third appeared.

The fire of our batteries continued steadily until dark. The effect of the fire was not very good, owing to the insufficient caliber of the guns for the long range, and not much damage appeared to be done to any of the batteries, except those of Fort Moultrie, where our two 42-pounders appeared to have silenced one gun for a time, to have injured the embrasures considerably, riddled the barracks and quarters, and torn three holes through their flag. The so-called floating battery was struck very frequently by our shot, one of them penetrating at the angle between the front and roof, entirely through the iron covering and woodwork beneath, and wounding one man. The rest of the 32-pounder balls failed to penetrate the front or the roof, but were deflected from their surfaces, which were arranged at a suitable angle for this purpose. We could not strike below the water line on account of the sea wall behind which the battery had been grounded, and which was just high enough to allow their guns to fire over it, and to intercept all of our ricochet shots.

The columbiad battery and Dahlgren battery near the floating battery did not appear to be much injured by the few shot that were fired at them. Only one or two shots were fired at Fort Johnson, and none at Castle Pinckney or the city.

Our fire towards Morris Island was mainly directed at the iron-clad battery, but the small caliber of our shot failed to penetrate to covering, when struck fairly. The aim was, therefore, taken at the embrasures, which were struck at least twice, disabling the guns for a time. One or two shots were thrown at the reverse of batteries 3 and 4, scattering some groups of officers and men on the lookout, and cutting down


Page 19 Chapter I. OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C.

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