Today in History:

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

Page 97 Chapter XL. GENERAL REPORTS.

subsequently; but the prominent difficulties, as declared, were the want of labor and transportation. After the failure of the attack by iron-clads on the 7th of April, and they had retired, the works could have been armed with a certain class of guns taken from the closed casemates of Fort Sumter. Difficulties would have occurred with the carriages and ordnance stores. These guns, however, would not have answered for what was required for the armament at the south end of Morris Island or Black Island. Some guns, reported to be of the class wished for, having, as I understood, arrived from Europe at Wilmington, were asked for a refused. As the enemy persisted in his occupation, although the works were not completed at the south end of Morris Island, the armament was increased by a captured 30-pounder Parrott, a light Whithworth, and three 10-inch seacoast mortars. It was, I have understood, intended to have constructed bomb-proof and hospital arrangements at the south end of Morris Island, but they had hardly been commenced.

To the 4th question. In my opinion it would have been possible, had the works at the south end of the island been completed, and with the small force at our disposal, for the enemy by a bold dash from their iron-clads and gunboats to have cut off the retreat of the troops south of Craig's Hill. Nevertheless, as it was intended that the whole beach should be swept with grape, and the landing is quite difficult, it is, in my opinion, doubtful whether he would have undertaken so hazardous and enterprise. He would probably have attempted to shell out the work at the south end directly, or, still more, so changed his point of attack - or what is still more probable, had we been fully prepared, he never would have made it.

To the 5th question. Up to the 8th or 9th of July, the enemy, as far as could be ascertained, had constructed no works on Little Folly, excepting to shelter his pickets from our shells. An expedition had been organized to cross the inlet, drive in his pickets, and ascertain his works as early as the 6th, but had been delayed by the weather and the character of our boats. His works, such as they were, were discovered on the 9th, and a scouting expedition, under Captain Haskell, on the night of the 8th reported a fleet of boats moored as if in readiness to attempt a crossing. There is no doubt, from the character of the guns which he used - of which there were about thirty of different caliber, from 30-pounder Parrotts down - that they had been placed on temporary platforms, behind the sand-hills for the most part. Any shot heavier than a 30-pounder Parrott fired on the 10th came from the gunboats or from the works on Big Folly.

To the 6th question. The enemy was reported at work on the night of the 8th, and opened fire at about 5 o'clock on the morning of the 10th.

To the 7th question. From the best source of information, the enemy's force consisted of four brigades, one of which landed on James Island, besides the fleet; probably in all, say, 10,000 men.

To the 8th question. My force of infantry was in all 2,462 effective - 1,184 on James Island, 612 on Morris Island, 204 on Sullivan's Island, and 462 in Charleston.

To the 9th question. I do not know that a better disposition could have been made, for had we concentrated on Morris Island, the enemy would at once have turned to James Island. He might have gone to Sullivan's Island by way of Long Island, but having a foothold on James, and that being the most vital approach to Charleston, could he had taken our extended lines by a coup de

Page 97 Chapter XL. GENERAL REPORTS.