Today in History:

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


There are now left in the fort two 10-inch and two 8-inch columbiads; two 42-pounder rifled guns, one with band burst and the other buried in the ruins; one 8-inch shell gun; two rifled 32-pounders, and two smooth-bore 32-pounders.

One iron-clad is reported among the enemy's fleet at Port Royal.

[The enemy opened fire upon Secessionville from two of his gunboats, and threw 20 or 25 rifled shells, mostly percussion.*]

September 24, 1863.-The enemy are actively employed at Battery Wagner, and the fire from Sullivan's Island, Batteries Simkins and Haskell only causes a momentary discontinuance of their work.

In the past twenty-four hours, 264 shots have been fired from our works and only 17 from the enemy's.

There are forty-two vessels inside the bar, including the Ironsides, four monitors, one sloop of war, four gunboats, four mortar-boats, &c.

Ninety shots were fired to-day from Battery Simkins, with good effect.

At about 10 a.m. Battery Haskell commenced firing upon Marsh Battery No. 1 with the banded and rifled 24-pounder and the smoothbore of same caliber, both with an elevation of 9. Of the 6 shots fired from the rifled gun, only 1 is supposed to have struck the battery [distance estimated at 1 1/2 miles]. Twelve shots were fired from the smooth-bore, and 2 of them either struck the battery or passed immediately over.

In the afternoon, as many men were visible at Battery Wagner, a few solid shot with Tennessee cap were fired from the double-banded 24-pounder [rifled] with 6 pounds charge of powder and an elevation of 17. They all, however, fell short. Four hollow shot, of Eason's manufacture, with leaden basis or sabots, were next tried at 17, 15, 14, and 13 elevation; all passed over the fort with the exception of the fourth shot, which fell a little short. This appears to be the only kind of projectile which, with 6 pounds charge of powder and the maximum elevation of 17, can be fired from this gun at long ranges with any degree of accuracy.

Major Elliott reports that six of the sub-terra torpedoes exploded after midnight during the rising of tide. Their ignition was caused by the surf rolling fragments upon them.

The enemy has reconstructed the bridge over Green Creek, and men are constantly passing and repassing over it.

An encampment of the enemy is reported on Kiawah Island.

The fleet at Port Royal to-day is one steam frigate, two sloops of war, one iron-clad, seven wooden gunboats, and sixty-six transports.

A national salute was fired to-day by orders of the commanding general in honor of General Bragg's victory in Georgia.

September 25, 1863.-The enemy in the past twenty-four hours have fired only 8 shots in reply to 144 fired by Simkins, Cheves, Haskell, and from Sullivan's Island.

At 9 a.m. the weather is hazy, and it is impossible to distinguish number and character of vessels of the enemy.

In the afternoon the enemy had guys up at Batteries Wagner and Gregg, either mounting or dismounting guns. During the night a row of palisades was built around Gregg and also across the re-entering angle of Wagner, and a large Parrott gun mounted in the sand-hills near Gregg. What appears to be a masked battery is nearly completed at the latter work.

As usual, firing was kept up to-day on the enemy's working


*Manigault's report.