War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0653 Chapter XL. BOMBARDMENT OF FORT SUMTER, S. C.

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on the junction of the upper and lower magazines would render the magazine unsafe. The north wall of the upper western magazine is unprotected and is exposed to a reverse fire from the fleet, firing one or two points north of perpendicular to east face of fort. A few shots upon this wall, striking about the junction of upper and lower magazine, would render the magazine unsafe. This place is now being re-enforced with 8 feet of sand. the roof of the hospital is now only protected by brick arches, that would be crushed through by a few shell.

Colonel GILLMER. From the examination I have been able to make as to the effect of the bombardment up to this time, I think the fort will remain tenable against any probable attack for many days, if the engineer officers be supplied with the labor and material necessary to re-enforce points comparatively weak.

ALFRED RHETT,

Colonel, Commanding.

ORMSBY BLANDING,

Major First South Carolina Artillery.

F. H. HARLESTON,

Captain, First South Carolina Artillery.

JOHN JOHNSON,

First Lieutenant, Engineer Corps, Provisional Army, C. S.

The foregoing is a correct report of what occurred at the consultation of the officers named but we do not consider it as embodying our opinion in full as to "the advisability of abandoning the work," as called for by the commanding general in a letter, a copy of which is embraced in the foregoing proceedings.

J. F. GILMER,

Colonel, and Chief of Engineer Bureau.

D. B. HARRIS,

Lieutenant-Colonel, and Chief Engineer of Department.

Numbers 9. Reports of Colonel Jeremy F. Gilmer and Lieutenant Colonel D. B. Harris, C. S. Corps of Engineers, of inspections, &c., August 24 and September 22, 1863.

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF ENGINEER,

Charleston, S. C., August 25, 1863.

GENERAL: We have the honor to report that in compliance with your instructions we visited Fort Sumter yesterday afternoon, made a careful examination of its condition, and held a consultation with a portion of its officers, a copy of which we had you inclosed.* In addition to our answers to certain questions propounded at that consultation, we beg leave to state that, in our opinion, it is not advisable to abandon the fort at this time. On the contrary, we think it should be held to the last extremity. How long it may be held is now only a matter of conjecture, but there are many elements of defense within the fort, in its present shattered condition, which, if properly used, may enable a resolute garrison to hold it for many days. The

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*See Numbers 8, p. 651.

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