Today in History:

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

Page 107 Chapter XL. GENERAL REPORTS.

of cartridges or a barrel of powder in each magazine, to be carefully trained, so that ignition be not premature, and of the length to insure time for leaving with the rear guard. The fuse burns fifteen seconds to the foot, so that if ten minutes is required the length of the fuse should be 40 feet, or more in proportion.

The engineer officer or some careful person should be provided with matches and linstock, and, at a signal from the commanding officer, should light carefully, and without undue haste, each safety fuse, and report.

The artillery officer should destroy the implements of each gun which is not firing, and should spike securely all the guns of smaller caliber, destroy the elevating screws, and render the carriages unserviceable. It will be well to ram a shot or shell down without cartridge, first inserting a small wedge of wood to cause the ball to stick in its position.

The 10-inch columbiads, if not removed, must be destroyed. They must be burst, if possible. It is intended to send down a few 210-pound bolts with Tennessee caps. If these come, put in two cartridges with two bolts, prime with powder, and lash a small cartridge over the vent, with a slow match inserted. Let the matches be fired at the same time with the magazines. It will be well to cut through the braces of the carriage, and put all the eccentric wheels in gear. If the bolts do not come, put in two cartridges, two solid shot, another cartridge, and then fill the gun up to the muzzle, priming and arranging the safety fuses as before.

Other instructions will be given with regard to the evacuation as far as the troops are concerned, but should it take place, as these arrangements will depend on circumstances, and the circumstances and the destruction of armament, &c., will require consideration, and especially coolness, on the part of the artillery and engineer officers, it has been thought proper to send these instructions now. You will please communicate them to the artillery and engineer officers of the command, and furnish them with the copies inclosed in strict confidence. They must be turned over to their successors, as will be the case with this paper the same arrangements will be made for the demolition of magazines and armament, but of course at that point it will not take place until the last moment, according to instructions from these or department headquarters.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure G.]

MORRIS ISLAND, September 6, 1863-3.15 p.m.

Captain [W. F.] NANCE:

Will boats be here to-night for garrison? If so, at what time, and if our sacrifice be of benefit, I am ready. Let it be said so, and I will storm the enemy's works at once, or lose every man here. The enemy are within 50 yards of us, and before day dawns we should assault him if we remain here. Answer positively and at once.

Assistant Engineer [R. M.] Stiles has just inspected the fort. He says it is untenable.


Colonel, Commanding.

Page 107 Chapter XL. GENERAL REPORTS.