War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0683 Chapter XL. BOMBARDMENT OF CHARLESTON, S. C.

Search Civil War Official Records

has so far been utterly inadequate to the labors and boasts of the besieging forces. That they should attempt ot intimidate the people of Charleston into a surrender of their city is not to be wondered at; but having plainly seen that the destruction of property did not shake their determination, it is difficult to imagine what usage of civilization would justify them in continuing it.

Damage to property.- This will be large, owing to the impracticability of repairs and consequent action of the laments on buildings laid open to it. The immediate damage from the shells cannot be considered large in proportion to the area within the enemy's range. From Saint Michael's steeple, which commands a full view, there is but a small appearance of destruction visible. By a rough inspection of the city yesterday with an intelligent local editor, who had already been taking accounts of the effects of the shelling, I learned that 126 buildings (including kitchens) had been struck by shells, about 85 being much injured and 41 only slightly. I presume that three-fourths of the houses struck can be repaired without pulling down any main wall; but a portion have rafters, joists, or corners very badly shattered-the South Carolina Hall (near Saint Michael's Church), for instance, having been struck three times through the roof.

Damage to life.- Five deaths have resulted from the bombardment, viz, Mrs. Hawthorne, Numbers 70 Church street, wounded by shell in right side, and died six weeks after; Miss Plane, corner Meeting and Market, left foot crushed by shell, and died in six days; Mr. William Knighton, corner Meeting and Market, right leg taken off, and died in four days; Mr. John Doscher, of German Fire Company, wounded at fire of December 25, and since died; Rebecca, slave of Mr. Lindsay, Numbers 5. Beaufain street, killed instantly by shell. At the fire of December 25, there were 1 fireman, 1 policeman, and 4 soldiers slightly wounded.*

Number of shots.- The number fired at the city from August 21, 1863, to January 5, 1863, as noted by the observer in Saint Michael's, is 472. Of these, 27 were thrown on August 21, 22, and 3 on October 27. The regular bombardment may be said to have begun on November 17, from which date to January 5, 1864, 442 are reported. Out of the 472 shells thrown at the city, 28 are reported to have fallen short, making about 444 which struck in the city; but in my inspection and inquiry, I could only learn of some 225, viz:

Shells striking horses......................... 145

Shells striking yards........................... 19

Shells striking in the streets and on the edge

of burned district.............................. 61

-----

Total........................................... 225

There were certainly a considerable number which had struck in the burned district, and probably in deserted yards, of which I could hat no account. I hand with this a map+ of Charleston (drawn by that skillful artist, Lieutenant [George E.] Walker, C. S. Engineers) in which I have designated roughly be specks of red paint the locality where each shell fell, the extreme points where shells struck being connected by straight re-ink lines.

Average number of shots per day.- During the three shelling in August (21st to 24th), four days, about 7 per day. None is September. In October only 3 shells were thrown, all in one day. From

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

*See Journal of Operations in Charleston Harbor.

+Not found.

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