Today in History:

4 Series I Volume XXVIII-I Serial 46 - Ft. Sumter - Ft. Wagner Part I

Page 4 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

the bar which stretches across the entrance to the harbor. This entrace is formed by Sullivan's Island on the north and Morris Island on the south side, each about 3 1/2 miles in length, low, narrow, and sandy, and separated from the main land adjacent to it toward the interior by soft and impracticable marshes, varying in width from 1 1/2 to 3 miles. These marshes are submerged by spring tides, and are traversed by numerous streams, that are generally very narrow, deep, and crooked. The inner ends of these islands reach to within 3 1/2 to 4 miles from the city. The harbor inside is bounded by the main land on the north and by James Island on the south side. The shortest distance between Sullivan's and Morris Islands is 2,700 yards.


2. The defenses provided for the city of Charleston by the United States before the war comprised the following works, viz:

3. First. Fort Sumter, a strong caseated brick work of five faces, designed to mount two tiers of guns in embrasure and one en barbette. It is built on a shoal, its foundations being formed by stones a perdue. It is situated on the south side of the channel, nearly equidistant from Sullivan's and Morris Islands, and is 3 1/2 miles from the city. Its full armament would comprise about one hundred and thirty-five guns. None of the embrasures of the second tier had been finished at the commencement of the present war, and the openings left for them were walled up with brick during the occupancy of the work by Major Anderson's command, in the spring of 1861, in which condition the enemy allowed them to remain.

4. Second. Fort Moultrie, located on Sullivan's Island, at 1,700 yards distance from Fort Sumter. It is a brick work, mounting one tier of guns en barbette.

5. Third. Fort Johnson, located on James Island, due west from Fort Sumter, and 2 1/2 miles distant from the lower end of the city. It is and earthwork, with its guns en barbette. Its armament was not large at the opening of the war.

6. Fourth. Castle Pinckney, and old-fashioned brick work, on Shute's Folly Island, 1 mile east of the lower end of the city. Its armament was not heavy at the opening of the war.

7. To the works above named, intended solely to resist a naval attack, the enemy commenced adding largely when the war broke out.

8. Strong earthworks were erected on both the upper and the lower ends, as well as at intermediate points, of Morris and Sullivan's Island.

9. The gorge wall of Fort Sumter was re-enforced adjacent to the magazines, and its armament increased.

10. Additional guns were mounted on Forts Moultrie and Johnson, and they were otherwise materially strengthened.

11. Several batteries were also established on the shell beach running in a southeasterly direction from Fort Johnson.

12. Heavy guns were mounted upon the wharves of the city, and a number of iron-clad rams were constructed.

13. A work called Fort Ripley, mounting a heavy armament, was also improvised in the middle ground north of Fort Johnson.

14. Against a land attack, formidable preparations were likewise made. On James Island a line of detached works, armed with heavy

Page 4 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.