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21 Series I Volume I- Serial 1 - Charleston

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Page 21 Chapter I. OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C.

took the gorge in reverse in their fall, completely riddling the officers' quarters, even down to the first story, so great was the angle of fall of many of the balls.

Three of the iron cisterns over the hallways were destroyed by shots during the day, and the quarters below deluged by their contents of water, aiding in preventing the extension of the fire. The shots from these batteries and from Fort Moultrie, aimed at the embrasures, failed to produce any effect. None of the shot came through, although one shell exploded in the mouth of one embrasure.

A part of the guns from Cummings Point essayed to dismount the barbette tier on the gorge, and the remainder to breach the gorge, or rather the pan-coupe at the right gorge angle. At this latter point, two columbiads and a Blakely rifled gun fired almost constantly. The effect of this fire on this day was to breach around the embrasure of the first tier at the pan-coupe to a depth of twenty inches, and to put one shot through the filling, consisting of brick and bluestone combined, with which the embrasure opening of the second tier had been filled. One shot was also put through the top of the loophole window on the second tier, another through the top of the main gate, and a third through the magazine ventilator at the right of the gorge, falling between the pier and the inner wooden ceiling.

Three of the embrasure cheek-irons that I had placed in the second tier loopholes, were knocked out of place. Several of the stones that had been placed in the first tier loopholes were struck, but owing to the lead run in around them to hold them in place none were broken.

The penetration of the 8-inch columbiad balls from Cummings Point was eleven inches at the first shot-and that of the twelve-pound bolt from the Blakely gun was the same, as ascertained by measurement. The latter, however, threw its shot with greater accuracy, and with less time of flight, than the former. The distance was about 1,250 yards.

The shot from Cummings Point that passed a little over the gorge took the left face in reverse, damaging the masonry of the parade wall, coping, &c., and splintering the chassis of one gun in barbette. As an instance of strength of masonry, I may mention that one 10-inch shell from Cummings Point fell upon the second tier casemate arch, which was not covered by concrete or flagging, and so good was the masonry of this 15-inch arch that the shell did not go through, although it bedded itself, and broke off from the soffit below a large fragment of brickwork.

The night was very stormy, with high wind and tide. I found out, however, by personal inspection, that the exterior of the work was not damaged to any considerable extent, and that all the facilities for taking in supplies, in case they arrived, were as complete as circumstances would admit. The enemy threw shells every ten or fifteen minutes during the night. The making of cartridge bags was continued by the men, under Lieutenant Meade's directions, until 12 o'clock, when they were ordered to stop by Major Anderson. To obtain materials for the bags all the extra clothing of the companies was cut up, and all coarse paper and extra hospital sheets used.

April 13.-At daybreak no material alteration was observed in the enemy's batteries. The three U. S. men-of-war were still off the bar. The last of the rice was cooked this morning, and served with the pork-the only other article of food left in the engineer mess-room, where the whole command has messed since the opening of the fire. After this the fire was reopened, and continued very briskly as long as the increased supply of cartridges lasted. The enemy reopened fire at


Page 21 Chapter I. OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C.

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