Today in History:

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

Page 86 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

During the night, the enemy's guns were silent in front of Battery Wagner, but they renewed the bombardment of Fort Sumter before daylight on the morning of the 30th, and during the day threw 634 shots against it. They were also busily engaged in completing their advanced works, though greatly disturbed by the fire from Wagner and our James Island batteries, which compelled them to desist from the work of advancing a sap on the left of Battery Wagner.

In the evening, the enemy opened a brisk fire on Wagner with both mortars and Parrott guns. No serious damage was done to the work, but several casualties occurred. During the night, Battery Wagner kept up a steady and effective fire on the enemy's advanced works.

Early on the morning of the 31st, as the steamer Sumter was returning from Morris Island with troops on board, she was unfortunately fired into from the Sullivan's Island batteries and sunk. Four men were killed or drowned, and the greater portion of the arms were lost.

Between 11 a. m. and 12 m. one of the monitors approached Fort Moultrie, and when within range was opened on by the fort. The enemy replied with shrapnel, all of which fell short. After about an hour's engagement, the monitor withdrew. About 2 p. m. the enemy again approached with four monitors, and engaged the fort for four hours. A steady fire was kept up on them from Fort Moultrie and other Sullivan's Island batteries. During the engagement, the enemy fired about 60 shot, striking Fort Moultrie fifteen times, but doing no damage. The fort fired 132 shots.

The enemy's fire on Fort Sumter was slack throughout the day. Captain [Samuel] Le Roy Hammond, Twenty-fifth South Carolina Volunteers, reported during the day that, in obedience to instructions, he had made a reconnaissance of Light-House Inlet and the south side of Black Island. On the island he saw pickets and bivouac fores, but discovered no earthworks.

During the night, the enemy succeeded in advancing their sap a short distance toward battery Wagner., notwithstanding the heavy fire that was kept up on them from that work.

At daylight on September 1, the enemy opened on Wagner with mortars, and continued at intervals during the entire day. The two 8-inch howitzers on the salient and curtains of the works were disabled, and the two 8-inch shell guns on the land face were also partially disabled.

From early morning the Morris Island batteries keep up a heavy fire on Fort Sumter, firing throughout the day 382 shots - 166 striking outside, 95 inside, and 121 missing. The fire was very destructive, disabling the remaining guns en barbette and damaging the fort considerably. An extract from the report of the engineer in charge gives the following account of its condition:

Toward noon the effects of the fire was to carry away at one fall four rampart arches on the northeast front, with terre-plein platforms and guns, thus leaving on this front only one march and a half, which are adjacent to the east spiral stair. Some of the lower casemate piers of some front have been seriously damaged, rendering insane the service of two guns hitherto available in that quarter. On the exterior the chief injury done is to be noticed at southeast pan coupe and two next upper casemates on east front. From these localities the scarp has fallen away completely, and left the arches exposed, as well as the sand filling half down to the floor of second tier.

At 11.40 p. m. six monitors opened on Fort Sumter from distances

Page 86 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.