War of the Rebellion: Serial 047 Page 0059 Chapter XL. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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from this city to Battery Wagner. With this knowledge, you threaten to open fire on the city, not to oblige its surrender, but to force me to evacuate these works, which, you, assisted by a great naval force, have been attacking in vain for more than forty days.

Batteries Wagner and Gregg, and Fort Sumter, are nearly due north from your batteries on Morris Island, and in distance therefrom varying from half a mile to 2 1/4 miles. This city, on the other hand, is to the northwest, and quite 5 miles distant from the battery opened against it this morning.

It would appear, sir, that despairing of reducing these works, you now resort to the novel measure of turning your guns against the old men, the women and children, and the hospitals of a sleeping city, an act of inexcusable barbarity from your own confessed point of sight, inasmuch as you allege that the complete demolition of Fort Sumter within a few hours by your guns seems to you "a matter of certainty."

Your omission to attach your signature to such a grave paper must show the recklessness of the course upon which you have adventured; while the facts that you knowingly fixed a limit for receiving an answer to your demand which made it almost beyond the possibility of receiving any reply within that time, and that you actually did open fire and throw a number of the most destructive missiles ever used in war into the midst of a city taken unawares, and filled with sleeping women and children, will give you "a bad eminence" in history, even in the history of this war.

I am only surprised, sir, at the limits you have set to your demand. If, in order to attain the bombardment of Morris Island and Fort Sumter, you feel authorized to fire on this city, why did you not also include the works on Sullivan's and James Islands, nay, even the city of Charleston, in the same demand?

Since you have felt warranted in inaugurating this method of reducing batteries in your immediate front which were found otherwise impregnable, and a mode of warfare which I confidently declare to be atrocious and unworthy of any soldier, I now solemnly warn you that if you fire again on this city from your Morris Island batteries without granting a somewhat more reasonable time to remove non-combatants, I shall feel impelled to employ such stringent means of retaliation as may be available during the continuance of this attack.

Finally, I reply, that neither the works on Morris Island nor Fort Sumter will be evacuated on the demand you have even pleased to make. Already, however, I am taking measures to remove, with the utmost possible celerity, all non-combatants, who are now fully aware of and alive to what they may expect at your hands.

Respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,


General, Commanding.

[Inclosure No. 3.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH, In the Field, Morris Island, S. C., August 22, 1863-9 p.m.


Commanding Confederate States Forces, Charleston, S. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this date, complaining that one of my batteries has opened upon the city of Charleston, and thrown "a number of heavy rifled