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25 Series I Volume I- Serial 1 - Charleston

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Page 25 Chapter I. OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C.

of flying bricks, and built up the main gates with stones and rubbish, the fort would actually have been in a more defensible condition than when the action commenced. In fact, it would have been better if the chimneys, roofs, and upper walls of the quarters and barracks had been removed before the firing begun, but the short notice and the small force did not permit anything of this kind to be done after the notice and the small force did not permit anything of this kind to be done after the notice of the attack was received.

The weakness of the defense principally lay in the lack of cartridge bags, and of the materials to make them, by which the fire of our batteries was, all the time, rendered slow, and towards the last was nearly suspended. The lack of a sufficient number of men to man the barbette tier of guns at the risk of losing several by the heavy vertical fire of the enemy also prevented us making use of the only guns that had the power to smash his iron-clad batteries, or of throwing shells into his open batteries, so as to destroy his cannoneers.

The want of provisions would soon have caused the surrender of the fort, but with plenty of cartridges the men would have cheerfully fought five or six days, and if necessary much longer, on pork alone, of which we had a sufficient supply.

I do not think that a breach could have been effected in the gorge at the distance of the battery on Cummings Point, within a week or ten days; and even then, with the small garrison to defend it, and means for obstructing it, at our disposal, the operation of assaulting it, with even vastly superior numbers, would have been very doubtful in its results.

Respectfully submitted.

J. G. FOSTER,

Captain, Engineers.


Numbers 8. Reports of Brigadier General G. T. Beauregard, C. S. Army, of operations against Fort Sumter.


HEADQUARTERS C. S. ARMY,
Charleston, S. C., March 6, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to War Department orders of the 1st instant I arrived at this place on the 3rd instant, and immediately reported to Governor Pickens for military duty. That day we inspected the floating battery now being constructed here. On the 4th instant we inspected the works on the southern portion of the harbor (Morris Island and Fort Johnson), and yesterday those on the north (Fort Moultrie, &c., including Castle Pinckney).

I have now the honor to state that I coincide fully in the opinion and views contained in Major W. H. C. Whiting's letter preceding his full report, and that, as I have not time to write more fully on the subject, I desire that portion of his letter referring to the above works should be annexed to this report, and a copy thereof sent to me for my files.

On Morris Island the flanking defects are being remedied, and will probably soon be completed, as well as the position, &c., of said works will permit. I have ordered that only six mortars, instead of twelve, intended for that point, should be put in position there. I have ordered the construction of a series of small batteries of heavy guns, two in each, and twenty in all, well protected by traverses along the channel shore of that island, said batteries to be about fifty or one hundred yards


Page 25 Chapter I. OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C.

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