War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0219 Chapter XL. OPERATIONS ON MORRIS ISLAND, S. C.

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our projectiles, but, under our fire, it was impossible to serve their artillery, nor could they expose themselves outside of their bombproof for an instant.

Our fire of rifle shells on the 5th and 6th instant at the bombproof did it little or not damage; still, it was very effective in other respects, seriously interrupting the communications which ran under the traverses of the sea face by filling them with sand. It was also found that a magazine located in one of those transverses was seriously in danger of being penetrated by our rifle projectiles.

The great range which had been attained by the Parott guns gave the means, with the control which we had of the swamp on the left of our position, in which to establish a gun for throwing projectiles into Charleston. The difficulty was in preparing a battery in the center of this swamp, a mile distant from firm ground, as it was required to be to attain an effective range of Charleston. It was finally overcome by the commanding general, and a battery for an 8-inch Parrott established, under the direction of Colonel E. W. Serrell, Volunteer Engineers, at 7,900 yards from Saint Michael's Church, in the city of Charleston.

The piece was mounted under the supervision of Lieutenant Wadlie, Third New Hampshire, who deserves great credit for the accomplishment of this work, done under so many difficulties. The battery was garrisoned by a detachment of the Eleventh Maine Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant Charles Sellmer, Eleventh Maine.

This battery was opened, on the night of the 22nd of August, on Charleston, and fired some 15 rounds. Unfortunately, on the second occasion of firing, the gun burst, the breach breaking just in rear of the vent, and was blown clear of the re-enforce. Some 35 shells were fired in all from it. Both incendiary shell and shells filled with Greek fire were used. The latter worked very poorly, nearly every one prematurely exploding, and it is not determined whether any shells containing Greek fire ever reached Charleston.

The total number of projectiles thrown against Sumter up to the 7th of September was 6,451, and against Wagner, since the 26th of July, 9,875, making a total of artillery projectiles of 16,326.

In closing this report, I would call the attention of the commanding general to zeal and efficient services rendered by Captain C. R. Brayton, Third Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, who has acted during this period of operations as my assistant.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, and Chief of Artillery.

Brigadier General Q. A. GILLMORE,

Commanding Department of the South.


Folly Island, S. C., November 30, 1863.

GENERAL: In compliance with your verbal request that I give some of the details of firing, with what observations I may have made in the artillery practice, particularly in the use of the Parrott rifle, during the artillery operations upon Morris Island, I would submit the following: