War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0156 COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND MIDDLE AND EAST FLA. Chapter XV.

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and mortar platforms were sunk to high-water mark. This brought them in many cases to within 6 or 8 inches of the substratum of soft clay. To secure them against settlement the lateral as well as vertical dimensions usually adopted for platforms were considerably enlarged.

On the 31st day of March Major-General Hunter assumed command of the Department of the South, and Brigadier-General Benham, of the Northern District thereof, comprising the States of South Carolina, Georgia, and a part of Florida. During the week which followed these generals visited Tybee Island at separate times, and inspected the siege works and batteries there established. No change or modification of any of the works was suggested by either.

On the afternoon of April 9 everything was in readiness to open fire. Generals Hunter and Benham had arrived the evening before with their respective staffs.

The following general orders, regulating the rapidity and direction of the firing and the charges and elevation of the pieces of each battery, were issued. As the instructions then given were, with one or two trifling exceptions, adhered to with remarkable fidelity throughout the action, they are inserted here in full, to save the necessity of further reference to them:

GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Numbers 17.

Tybee Island, Ga., April 9, 1862.

The batteries established against Fort Pulaski will be manned and ready for service at break of day to-morrow. The signal to begin the action will be one gun from the right mortar of Battery Halleck (2,400 yards from the work), fired under the direction of Lieutenant Horace Porter, chief of ordnance. Charge of mortar, 11 pounds; charge of shell, 11 pounds; elevation, 55 degrees; length of fuse, 24 seconds. This battery (two 13-inch mortars) will continue firing at the rate of fifteen minutes to each mortar alternately, varying the charge of mortars and the length of fuse so that the shells will drop over the arches of the north and northeast faces of the work and explode immediately after striking, and not before.

The other batteries will open as follows, viz, Battery Stanton (three 13-inch mortars, 3,400 yards distant) immediately after the signal, at the rate of fifteen minutes for each piece, alternating from the right. Chargee of mortars, 14 pounds; chargee of shell, 7 pounds; elevation, 45 degrees; length of fuse, 23 seconds; varying the charge of mortar and length of fuse as may be required. The shells should drop over the arches of the south face of the work and explode immediately after striking, but not before.

Battery Grant (three 13-inch mortars, 3,200 yards distant) immediately after the ranges of Battery Stanton have been determined, at the rate of fifteen minutes for each piece, alternating from the right. Charge of shells, 7 pounds; elevation, 45 degrees; charges of mortars and length of fuse to be varied to suit the range, as determined from Battery Stanton. The shells should drop over the south face of the work and explode immediately after striking, but not before.

Battery Lyon (three 10-inch columbiads, 3,100 yards distant), with a curved fire, immediately after the signal, allowing ten minutes between the discharges for each piece, alternating from the right. Charge of gun, 17 pounds; charge of shell, 3 pounds; elevation, 20 degrees, and length of fuse, 20 seconds; charge and length of fuse to vary as required. The shells should pass over the parapet into the work, taking the gorge and north face in reverse, and exploding at the moment of striking or immediately after.

Battery Lincoln (three 8-inch columbiads, 3,045 yards distant), with a curved fire, immediately after the signal, allowing six minutes between discharges for each piece, alternating from the right. Charge of gun, 10 pounds; charge of shell, 1 1/2 pounds; elevation, 20 degrees, and length of fuse, 20 seconds. Directed the same as Battery Lyon, upon the gorge and north face in reverse, varying the charge and length of fuse accordingly.

Battery Burnside (one 13-inch mortar, 2,750 yards distant) firing every ten minutes from the time the range is obtained for Battery Sherman. Charge of shell, 7 pounds; elevation, 45 degrees; charge of mortar and length of fuse varying as required from those obtained for Battery Sherman. The shells should drop on the arches of the north and northeast faces, and explode immediately after striking, but not before.

Battery Sherman (three 13-inch mortars, 2,650 yards distant) commencing immediately after the ranges for Battery Grant have been determined, and firing at the rate of fifteen minutes for each piece, alternating from the right. Charge of shell, 7 pounds