War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0084 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

Search Civil War Official Records

Sumter not actually required for its defense and by the new relations of that work to the defense of the harbor. the chief engineer was instructed to strengthened Castle Pinckney with sand-bags; Fort Johnson to be arrangement for two additional 10-inch guns, and positions to be prepared for the 10-inch guns to be placed on the James Island shore of the harbor.

Battery Wagner was bombardment heavily by the enemy about daylight on the 17th. About 9 a. m. the Ironsides and six monitors joined in the action. Their guns were turned also on Battery Gregg and Fort Sumter, a heavy cannonade being directed against Wagner, which, having only two 10-inch columbiads and one 32-pounder rifle to reply to the enemy's fleet, maintained the unequal contest more than one hour, when Colonel Keitt, commanding on Morris Island, ordered the brave artillerists and their gallant officers to the cover of the bomb-proofs. During this terrible fire, the engineer department lost the valuable services of most promising officer, Captain L. M. Wampler, of Virginia, who was killed by the exposition of a 15-inch shell. During the engagement, Captain [C. R. P.] Rodgers, commanding the monitor Weehawken, was killed* in the pilot-house of his ship. In the twenty-four hours, 948 [951] shots were fired against Fort Sumter; 448 struck outside, 233 inside, and 270 passed over. The casualties in the fort amounted to 14.

On August 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23, the fierce bombardment of Fort Sumter was continued by the enemy, both from his land batteries and at intervals from his fleet. From the 17th to the 23rd, inclusive, he fired against the fort a total of 5,643 shots, of which number 2,643 struck inside, 1,699 outside, and 1,301 missed. These projectiles varied in weight from 30 pounds to 300 pounds, and were fired from Parrott and 15-inch smooth-bore guns. An average of 150 pounds per shot would give a weight of nearly 385 tons discharged against the walls of Fort Sumter during this period of seven days. At the end of this time nearly all the guns remaining in the fort were unserviceable, and the damage to the gorge wall and the northwest face by the reserve fore was great; but the sand that had been placed on the outside of the gorge wall, in conjunction with the filling up f the barracks and casemates with cotton bales, and, above all, the crumbling of the masonry under the enemy's fire, converted this portion of Fort Sumter into a mass of debris and rubbish on which the enemy's powerful artillery could make but little impression. Throughout the siege the unremitting exertions of the engineer corps hourly increased the defensive power of the work.

The following extract from the journal of the engineer officer at Fort Sumter from August 23 will show the condition of the work on that date:

The northwest front has now five arches with ramparts fallen in; northeast barbetter battery unserviceable; east front scarp much scaled by slant fire, with large craters under traverses, principal injury at level of arches and terre-plein; two-thirds of southern wall of east magazine damaged; stone revetment unhurt and protected by rubbish; gorge not damaged since yesterday; another shot penetrated above sand filling of second-story rooms, making three the attack began; east barbetter battery parapet much loosened and undermined, though not displaced; one 10-inch and one 11-inch gun untouched; Brooke gun-carriage shattered, but can easily be mounted on 10-inch columbiad carriage.

During the seven days that the enemy so vigorously bombarded

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

* A mistake.

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