War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0156 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S.C. Chapter I.

Search Civil War Official Records

extending it towards the east. It now occupies the position shown in red in the marginal sketch.* The position of the other battery on Morris Island is also shown in red. This is called by the Charlestonians "Fort Morris," and I will so designate it in future.

The two or three guard-boats that the authorities have in use are constantly employed in watching the bar, and evidently have signals by which they can communicate intelligence at night as well as in the day. On the morning of the 25th the steamer Columbia, Captain Berry [who was the first to hoist the palmetto flag on board his vessel], in leaving the harbor by the Maffitt Channel, ran on shore between the Moultrie House and Bowman's Jetty, on Sullivan's Island. Despite all efforts to get her off at each high tide [and we have had several very high ones since], she still lies in the same position. The probability is that she will go to pieces if it should happen to blow hard from the south or eastward. The cause of this casualty is undoubtedly found in the fact that the taking up of the outer end of Bowman's Jetty has caused a deposition below it, which has diminished the depth of water, so that a vessel has now to follow a winding course very much like the red [broken] line in the marginal sketch. The difficulty of navigating

*MAP.

the sharp turn opposite where the Columbia now lies is very much increased by the opposite effects of flood and ebb tide, the latter tending to set the vessel on shore.

Going out in the haze of the morning, the Columbia probably failed to observe the turn of tide, and could not turn quickly enough, with a full head of steam, to clear the beach. Another of the steamers of the same line came in through the main ship channel last evening, being piloted in by one of the guard-boats.

In Fort Sumter everything goes on quite smoothly. I have done little during the past week, on account of the storm, besides policing, removing materials, and strengthening the filling of the openings for the embrasures of the second tier. One 10-inch columbiad has also been put in position on the parade to throw shells into Fort Moultrie, and surrounded by a strong traverse to avoid all danger from a possible bursting of the piece. Although all of the cement and bricks are used up, and the extreme scarcity of fuel does not permit the burning of shells for lime, I can manage with dry stone to strengthen all parts that require

---------------

*Here omitted. See sketch in Foster to Totten, February 5, post.

---------------