Today in History:

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

Page 87 Chapter XL. GENERAL REPORTS.

of 800 to 1,000 yards. They were joined at 1 a. m. of the 2nd by the Ironsides, and together fired 185 shots, of which 116 struck outside, 35 inside, and 34 passed over. The projectiles used were 8-inch Parrott rifle shells, and 11 and 15 inch smooth-bore shot and shell. Fort Sumter was unable to answer, not having gun in working order; but a heavy fire was kept up on the fleet from Fort Moultri with good effect, two of the monitors being apparently injured and requiring assistance when they retired. The effect of this fire on Fort Sumter was thus described by the engineer officer:

The chief external injury has been done upon the east scarp, which now has lost its integrity, and hangs upon the arches apparently in blocks and detached masses.

The remainder of the day passed in comparative quiet. The fleet was occupied in placing sand-bags on the decks of the monitors, the enemy's land batteries firing but 148 shots; 38 of these were directed against Sumter. In the same period, our batteries fired sixty-six times.

During the night, the enemy in front of Wagner was engaged in strengthening his advanced position, which was then within 80 or 100 yards of the salient. Owing to the difficulty of transporting ammunition to Battery Wagner, the fire from that work was slack.

Early on the morning of the 3rd, the enemy opened on Battery Wagner with mortars, and continued it throughout the day. Fort Sumter was not fired at. In that work all hands were busily engaged in repairing damages. During the past night, as usual, large quantities of ordnance stores and several guns were removed by that gallant and zealous acting engineer officer, Mr. J. Fraser Mathewes, of Charleston, who persistently worked at this dangerous and recovered from the debris had been transferred to its new position. The condition of the fort at this date was as follows: The northeast and northwest terre-pleins had fallen in, and the western wall had a crack entirely through, from parapet to berm. The greater portion of the southern wall was down, the upper east magazine penetrated, and the lower east magazine wall cracked. The eastern wall itself nearly shot away, and large portions down, ramparts gone, and nearly every casemate breached. The casemates on the eastern face were still filled with sand, and gave some protection to the garrison from shells. Not a single gun remainder en barbette, and but a single smooth-bore 32-pounder in the west face that could be fired.

During the night of the 3rd, Battery Wagner fired steadily, and the James Island batteries occasionally.

Throughout the 4th, the enemy did not fire on Fort Sumter, but confined themselves to shelling Battery Wagner, and were answered by the James Island guns. During the night of the 4th, the enemy's approach was pushed close to Battery Wagner.

At 12 m. on the 5th, the Federal flag, which had been 100 yards south of Wagner, was abreast of the south angle of the work. Throughout the day a very heavy fire was concentrated on Battery Wagner from the Ironsides, monitors, and land batteries, which severely injured the work. Our casualties were also greatly increased, some 40 occurring during the day.

Large bodies of troops were transferred from Folly to Morris Island, and other indications pointed to an early assault. There is good reason to believe that the enemy's plan was to carry Battery Gregg by a boat attack on the night of the 5th, or early on the morning

Page 87 Chapter XL. GENERAL REPORTS.