War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0723 Chapter XL. ENGAGEMENT IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C.

Search Civil War Official Records

Cumming's Point, I first turned on it the 8-inch naval shell gun on the right of Battery Simkins, and then the three 10-inch sea-coast mortars, which, with the 10-inch columbian, had been previously keeping up a steady fire on Morris Island.

The 8-inch naval shell gun was mounted on a shattered carriage, and could not only be fired slowly and with the utmost caution. It was impossible to do accurate shooting with it, but I struck her from it seven or eight times with round shot.

The mortars are mounted on perfectly frightful, utterly worn-out, platforms, and could, of course, do not spot shooting. I ceased firing from them in the evening.

About 3 o'clock I had a portion of the left traverse of the 10-inch columbian in same battery cut away, and made some good shooting on the monitor before her escape.

The Brooke gun on the right was mounted during the day, but only succeeded in firing 4 shots on the monitor before she got off, one of which I think took effect.

About dark I temporarily ceased firing (to allow of some alternation to the traverse of 10-inch columbian, and because I did not think that the 8-inch naval shell gun could stand many more discharges, and wished to lay in a further supply of shell, of which I was out, and to rest my almost tired out men.

At about 2 o'clock last night, the signal attack on Fort Sumter was observed, when, as soon as practicable, I opened fire, according to previously received directions, from the 8-inch naval shell gun, the 6.40-inch Brooke, and from the three 10-inch columbiads, at Fort Johnson.

This fire was kept up irregularly for about an hour. Fire was kept up from that time until this morning form Battery Simkins, form two guns and one mortar on Battery Gregg, and form two mortars on Battery Wagner, at intervals of about five minutes between each shot.

Altogether there were fired from Shell Point, form 9 a. m. on the 8th until 9 a. m. on the 9th, 68 columbian shots (8 and 1- inch) and 118 mortar shells about 11 Brooke bolts, besides some 8 or 9 columbian solid shots from Fort Johnson.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN C. MITCHEL,

Captain, Commanding.

Lieutenant J. M. SCHNIERLE,

Adjutant Artillery Command.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, Charleston, September 10., 1863.

Respectfully forwarded for information of the commanding general. It was thought on the 9th instant that these batteries were not firing sufficiently, and this direct report was asked for from these headquarters.

R. S. RIPLEY,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.