War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0259 Chapter XXVI. ENGAGEMENT IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C.

Search Civil War Official Records

the strength of the enemy's projectiles having been ascertained, to guard such points as might be exposed to their effect should the attack be renewed.

Comings Point Battery and Battery Wagner were uninjured, except from the accidental explosion of an ammunition chest in Battery Wagner.

During the night of the 7th stores were replenished, threatened points upon land re-enforced, working parties from the Forty-sixth Georgia Regiment borough to Fort Sumter, and the renewal of the struggle in the morning awaited with confidence.

When day dawned on the morning of the 8th the enemy's fleet was discovered in the same position as noticed on the previous evening. About 9 o'clock the Keokuk, which had been evidently the most damaged in the action, went down about 3 1\2 miles from Fort Sumter and three-fourths of a mile from Morris Island. The remainder of the fleet were repairing damages. Preparations for repulsing a renewed attack were progressed with in accordance with the instructions of the commanding general, who visited Fort Sumter on that day. A detachment of seamen under Flag-Officer W. F. Lynch arrived from Wilmington, and on the 9th temporarily relieved the artillerists in charge of the Cummings Point Battery. The operations of the enemy's fleet insisted only in supply and repair.

Toward evening of the 9th a raft, apparently for removing torpedoes or obstructions, was towed inside of the bar. Nothing occurred of importance during the 10th.

During the night of the 10th Lieutenant-Colonel Dargan, of Colonel Graham's command, crossed Light-House Inlet, drove back the enemy's pickets with loss, and returned with 1 prisoners.

On the 11th there were indications that the attacking fleet was about to withdraw ;and on the 12th, at high water, the Ironside crossed the bar and took up her position with the blockading fleet, and the monitors steamed and were towed to the southward, leaving only the sunken Keokuk as a monument of their attack and discomfiture.

In this the first trial of the Abolition iron fleet against brick fortifications and their first attempt to enter the harbor of Charleston, in which they were beaten before their adversaries thought the action had well commenced, they were opposed by seventy-six pieces in all, including mortars. Thirty-seven of these, exclusive of mortars, were above the caliber of 32-pounders. The expenditure of shot against the fleet was 2,229 projectiles, of which over 1,600 were over the caliber of 32-pounders.

The guns which the enemy brought to bear were, if their own account is the be believed, 30 in number, including 8-inch rifled and 11 and 15 inch guns, which would make their weight of metal at one discharge nearly, if not quite, equal to that thrown by the batteries.

During the action Brigadier-General Trapier, commanding second sub-division of this district, was present at Fort Moultrie; Brigadier-General Gist, commanding first sub-division, at Fort Johnson; Colonel R. F. Graham, commanding third sub-division, on Morris Island, and Colonel L. M. Keitt, commanding Sullivan's Island, at Battery Bee, attending to these duties and awaiting the development of the attack. The action, however, was purely of artillery; forts and batteries against the iron-clad vessels of the enemy's other means of defense, obstructions and torpedoes, not having come into play.

Fort Sumter was the principal object of the enemy's attack, and to that garrison, under its gallant commander, Colonel Alfred Rhett, ably seconded by Lieutenant Colonel J. A. Yates and Major Ormsby Blanding, and all the offi-