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24 Series I Volume I- Serial 1 - Charleston

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Page 24 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.

would be raised again, but yielded to the request of the aides for time to report to their chief and obtain his instructions. They soon returned with the approach of all conditions desired except the saluting of the flag as it was lowered, and this exception was subsequently removed after correspondence, In the morning communication was had with the fleet, and Captain Gillis paid a visit to the fort.

The evacuation was completed after saluting the flag, in doing which one man was instantly killed, one mortally and four severely wounded, by the premature discharge of a gun and explosion of a pile of cartridges. The whole command went on board a steamer which placed them on board the Isabel, where they remainder all night.

April 14.-The Isabel went over the bar and placed the whole command on board the steamer Baltic, which started for New York.

April 17.-Arrived in New York.

The following observations may be made upon the bombardment:

The enemy's fire on the second day, the 13th, was more rapid and more accurate than on the previous day. It seemed to be directed at the embrasures, and to set the quarters on fire. The latter object was fully attained, but not the former, for only two embrasures were struck- one at the right gorge angle by the rifled shot mentioned above, and the other at the left shoulder angle by a shot from the so-called floating battery, which struck the shutter, but without destroying it or entering the throat of the embrasure. The attempt to form a breach at the right gorge angle only succeeded in breaching around one embrasure to the depth of twenty-two inches, and in knocking off a large piece of one cheek, but without disabling the gun or rendering the embrasure inefficient. The barbette tier was not much injured by the second day's firing, none of the guns being dismounted by it, and few of them struck. The fire, however, destroyed all the gun carriages and splinter-proof shelters on the gorge.

After the cessation of fire, about six hundred shot-marks on the face of the scarp wall were counted, but they were so scattered that no breached effect could have been expected from such fire, and probably none was attempted except at the right gorge angle. The only effect of the direct fire during the two days was to disable three barbette guns, knock off large portion of the chimneys and brisk walls projecting above the parapet, and to set the quarters on fire with hot shot. The vertical fire produced more effect, as it prevented the working of the upper tier of guns, which were the only really effective guns in the fort, being columbiads, 8-inch sea-coast howitzers, and 42-pounders principally, and also prevented the use of the columbiads arranged in the parade to be used as mortars against Cummings Point. The shells that struck the stair towers nearly destroyed them, and filled the stairways with so much rubbish as to render them almost impassable. This, with the destruction of the stairs at the gorge by the explosion of the magazine of shells by the fire, made it almost impossible to get to the terre-plein.

The burning of the quarters and barracks produced a great effect on the defense while the fire lasted, inasmuch as the heat and smoke were almost stifling, and as the fire burned all around the magazines, obliging them to be closed, and thus preventing our getting powder to continue the firing. It also destroyed the main gates, and the gun carriages on the parapet of the gorge. But we could have resumed the firing as soon as the walls cooled sufficiently to open the magazines, and then, having blown down t he wall left projecting above the parapet, so as to get rid


Page 24 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.

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