Numbers 4. Reports of Brigadier General Rowell S. Ripley, C. S. Army, commanding First Military District.
FORT SUMTER, April 7, 1863.
Have visited Fort Sumter. One 10-inch gun carriage and chassis disabled; one 8-inch burst; two rifled dismounted and now replaced; walls badly shaken in two or three places; 4 men badly wounded. The engineers should look out and have material; and laborers for repairs as soon possible. Colonel Rhett, Lieutenant-Colonel Yates, and Major Blanding are doing all that can be done to repair. Do send us something for sand bags to fortify shaken places-if the people send their petticoats and pillow-cases--at once. One steamer should be sent down with what can be furnished to carry ammunition to Morris Island. Some of the enemy have been badly hurt. The Keokuk is probably for sale. Whether the attack will be renewed or not I cannot judge; the probability is that it will, and the men will shoot better to-morrow that to-day. The big torpedo did not explode; I do not know why. Shall go to Morris Island in an hour or so and find out. I don't think we had better say it is over, but will let you know in the morning.
R. S. RIPLEY.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, DEPT. OF SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA, Charleston, April 13, 1863.
GENERAL: Upon the 1st instant the increase of the enemy's force in the Stono and information from North Edisto gave warning that the long threatened combined movement upon Charleston was about to take place. Bring. General S. R. Gist, commanding first sub-division of this district, James Island, and Saint Andrew's, took prompt measures for the observation and repulse of any attack in that direction. Colonel R. F. Graham, commanding third sub-division, occupied the shore of Morris Island, on Light-House Inlet, to control the passage from Folly Island, and a strict watch has been kept up to the present time on the land movements of the enemy.
On the 5th the iron-clad fleet of Abolitionists, consisting of seven monitors and one double-turreted vessel, hove in sight from Fort Sumte and case to anchor outside, in the vicinity of the Ironside frigate, then a part of the blockading squadron. The 6th was apparently spent by the enemy in preparation and by our artillerists in verifying the condition of their material.
On the morning of the 7th the enemy was inside the bar with all his ironclad, including the frigate, but from hisproximity to the shoals and the haze of the atmosphere his position could not be determined.
The various works of preparation were progressed with both on the exterior and interior lines of defense until about 2 o'clock p. m., when the enemy steamed directly up the channel, the Weehawken, with a false prow for removing torpedoes attached, leading, followed by three monitors, the Ironside (flag-ship), three other monitors; the Keokuk, double-turret, bringing up the rear.
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