War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0413 Chapter LI. OPERATIONS IN MOBILE BAY, ALA.

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ing Captain Palfrey in charge of engineering operations, with instructions to sacrifice everything necessary to the completion of the mortar batteries, believing that the surrender of the fort would follow within forty-eight hours after they should open fire. This belief was based upon the manner in which the defense had been conducted and my knowledge of the existence of the barracks, composed in part of wood, and not bomb-proof, in the parade of the fort.

During the night the parallel was finished half way across the point, a road leading to it from the north beach furnished, and work continued on the mortar batteries, the besieged keeping up a heavy artillery fire all night without producing material injury, however. August 17, Battery G finished ready for two 9-inch guns (navy), and all the guns mounted in the other batteries connected with the first parallel, except Battery F. Work at second parallel going on well. August 18, second parallel extended round to point P, and battery for two light 12-pounder Napoleon guns located and commenced at point O in advance. Two batteries for two mortars each commenced at points E and K. The four 9-inch navy guns landed, and two of them going into their position at G. Platforms for twelve mortars completed at A, B, C, D, and L, and the mortars in course of mounting upon them. Work everywhere going on briskly during the whole day and night. No annoyance from the fort. Magazine lumber came up by barges during the night. August 19, mortars and magazine in rapid preparation. Battery at P for two 3-inch rifles, one at Q for two light 12s, and two at M and N for two 30-pounders, each were commence in case it should be found desirable to bring up any of the rifled guns from first parallel after opening fire. A heavy storm during the latter part of the night, rendering work almost impossible. August 20, storm continued and work nearly stooped for the morning. At night the magazine for battery at G was completed and all others well under way.

Captain Palfrey reports for August 21:

The storm had made the parallel (second) very wet in some places, where it could not be well drained. The magazines, platforms, and batteries for all the guns and mortars on hand were completed, and everything pertaining to the engineer department ready for opening fire. The ordnance was in position.

Lieutenant Burnham reports that-

About 8. 45 p. m. the fort opened fire upon us, throwing grape and canister and shells all directions, probably with the intention of drawing our fire, but in which they did not succeed.

As herein reported for the 11th, 12th, and 13th the monitors continued to relieve each other up to this time in throwing an occasional shell at the fort. Much injury was thus done to the fort and armament which might have been spared without retarding the surrender. I believed in view of various circumstances, as before stated, that our sixteen mortars could alone produce the surrender within forty-eight hours after they should open fire. As the enemy manifested little disposition to seriously annoy us, his gunners well under the eye of our sharpshooters, and our cover, natural and artificial, excellent, there seemed to be little reason for battering the fort, armament, and light-house, at least before the mortars were ready to open, thus increasing the cost of repairs after the surrender.

Our revetments were all of sand-bags, some of which we obtained from the abandoned rebel Battery Glace, situated on the south shore of the point at 2,800 yards from the fort, and designed as an advanced work to command approaches not seen by the fort.