War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0651 Chapter XL. BOMBARDMENT OF FORT SUMTER, S. C.

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Numbers 8. Proceedings of a Council of Officers held at Fort Sumter August 24.

FORT SUMTER, August 25, 1863.

COLONEL: I send you two copies of our proceedings of yesterday afternoon, one for Colonel Gilmer and yourself; the other please have signed and returned.

From examination, we find the 11-inch gun in severely if not seriously cracked at the junction of the right trunnion with its rimbase.

Very respectfully,

F. H. HARLESTON,

Captain, First South Carolina Artillery.

Colonel HARRIS,

Corps of Engineers, Charleston.

[Inclosure.]

Proceedings of a council of officers convened at Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, in compliance with the following letter:

HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,

Charleston, S. C., August 24, 1863-10.30 a. m.

Colonel HARRIS:

COLONEL: General Beauregard directs that you proceed immediately to Fort Sumter (together with Colonel Gilmer, if agreeable to him), to confer with Colonel Rhett, his chief of artillery, and Lieutenant Johnson, Engineers, to report upon the defenses of the place, or the advisability of abandoning the work. In the attempt to reach the fort, the general desires that a proper regard should be had to your own safety. You must not undertake the trip if too dangerous.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. N. TOUTANT BEAUREGARD,

Aide-de-Camp.

In compliance with the above letter, a council of officers, consisting of Colonel Gilmer, C. S. Corps of Engineers; Colonel Rhett, First South Carolina Artillery; Colonel Harris, C. S. Corps of Engineers; Major Blanding, First South Carolina Artillery; Captain F. H. Harleston, First South Carolina Artillery, and Lieutenant Johnson, Corps of Engineers, met at Fort Sumter, on the afternoon of August 24, 1863.

Captain Harleston acted as recorder. The first proposition proposed for consideration was, "The present offensive condition of the fort."

Lieutenant JOHNSON, Engineer Corps. The present offensive condition of the fort is very limited; one very fine gun (11-inch) capable of being fired with advantage; two others (10-inch) at disadvantage, in consequence of shattered condition of parapet.

Captain Harleston of same opinion as Lieutenant Johnson.

Major BLANDING. The offensive condition of the fort is very nearly destroyed; only one gun (11-inch) that can be used with any advantage.

Colonel Harris indorses Lieutenant Johnson's opinion.