Today in History:

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

Page 83 Chapter XL. GENERAL REPORTS.

fire against the enemy's working parties on the left of his approach, and dispersed them, stopping the work they were throwing up. At dark, Battery opened with eight guns on the enemy's advanced trenches, and, in conjunction with Fort Sumter and Battery Simkins, prevented any progress on the part of the enemy. His batteries in rear replied to the fire of Wagner, and interrupted our communications with Cumming's Point.

On the 13th, the enemy endeavored several times to repair the damage done to his advanced works during the preceding night, but well-directed shots from Battery Wagner as often drove him back. The batteries in rear and the fleet then opened fire on Wagner and Gregg, and were answered by Fort Sumter and Battery Simkins. At 5.30 a. m. the enemy opened with 8-inch Parrots from the same battery as the day before, firing two or three times only. At 11 a. m. three or four wooden gunboats, armed with heavy rifled guns, approached within 4,000 and 5,000 yards of Fort Sumter, and opened a slow fire. Some fifteen shots were fired with great range; three only struck the fort. One shot passed over the fort at great elevation, and dropped a mile to the westward. At 5 p. m. the enemy opened again on the fort with the 8-inch Parrots. No great damage was done. The farthest penetration into the brick work was about 4 feet.

On the 14th, the land batteries opened on Fort Sumter, firing three shots; two struck. About 11 a. m. the wooden gunboats shelled the fort at long range, and at 5.15 p. m. the land batteries again opened on the fort.

Throughout the day the enemy remained quiet, firing occasionally, and replied to by our batteries. The sharpshooters on both sides kept up a constant fire. During the night the fire from Battery Wagner put a stop to the enemy's operations in its front. The strengthening of Fort Sumter advanced rapidly day and night.

Brigadier-General Ripley was instructed as to the armament of certain portions of the new lines on James Island, and of a new battery thrown up near Fort Johnson.

During the greater part of the 15th, the enemy, both on land and sea, were unusually quiet, occasionally firing at Battery Wagner. Later in the day opened with some vigor on Battery Gregg.

The enemy's fleet consisted this morning of the Ironsides, six monitors, wight gunboats, three mortar hulks, and thirteen vessels inside the bar; outside, seven; at Hilton Head, fifty-two vessels, including gunboats and iron-clads.

My telegram of this date was:

No change worth recording since yesterday. Sand -bag revetment of gorge wall of Sunter and traverses inside of fort progressing as rapidly as means of transportation will permit.

On the 16th, the enemy's batteries fired but little on Batteries Wagner and Gregg; but during the afternoon the two 8-inch Parrots opened on Fort Sumter, throwing 48 shells. Four passed over, 4 feel short, 2 struck inside the parade, and 30 hit in various places, exterior and interior. At this date the armament of the fort consisted of thirty-eight guns and two mortars, at least twenty guns having been withdrawn since the landing of the enemy on Morris Island. Orders were given to Brigadier-General Ripley to move to Battery Gregg the two mortars in Fort Sumter as soon as it should become impossible to use them with advantage in the latter work, and to transport to other points every gun in

Page 83 Chapter XL. GENERAL REPORTS.