Today in History:

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

Page 678 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

fired, 2 or more of which struck her deck. She then withdrew. At 2.30 p. m. four monitors came in, and fire was opened from the Brooke gun and the two 10-inch columbiads of this battery, the latter under the immediate command of Lieutenant [R. R.] Singleton. Twenty-three rounds were fired from the Brooke gun with 14-pound charges and 15 and 16 from Nos. 23 and 1689 columbiads, respectively.

Owing to the northeast wind prevailing, the smoke from the Fort Moultrie batteries very often obscured the point of falling of the bolts, and thereby rendered the practice uncertain. Many of those observed fell very near the monitors at which they were aimed. A lack of uniformity in the range attained, at the same elevation and charge, observed in the firing of the earlier part of the day, was, I think, confirmed by the firing later in the afternoon. The firing was such as to encourage the belief that at closer range the effect would be damaging to the enemy, the firing being more accurate.

Respectfully, &c.,


Lieutenant, Commanding.

Captain W. F. NANCE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


September 2, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that at a few minutes after 11 o'clock last night, we manned the guns of this battery, the monitors of the enemy being discovered entering between this point and Morris Island. Fire was opened from the Brooke gun and the two 10-inch columbiads, and was kept up, with occasional intermissions, until the enemy withdrew at daylight. The shots from the Brooke gun were not effective, while the distance of the monitors was considerable, but quite late in the action one of them was fairly struck, with the gun at an elevation of 4 1/2^. Immediately after this they withdrew to a much greater distance for awhile, but upon returning, they took up a position closer than ever, and the first shot struck the nearest fairly, making 2 effective shots of the 3 fired after they took up their nearest position, while but 1 struck of about 30 fired at longer range.

In my report yesterday, I stated that the range did not appear to be uniform, but varied considerably, charge and elevation being the same. The probable explanation of this may be that the cartridges used, being composed of two kinds of powder, one large and the other smaller grained, and being moved about a great deal became shaken together, the two kinds of powder more or less mixed, the mixture being more complete in some than in others. Thus not who cartridges would be exactly alike, and the ranges would likewise vary.

I respectfully urge that this gun be used only at very close range, on the ground that the uncertainty of striking the monitors at anything more than very short range (1,000 or 1,500 yards) renders the expenditure of ammunition inexpedient, and the wear and tear of this gun is not compensated by the injury likely to be inflicted upon the enemy at such ranges. This is particularly the case at night.

Page 678 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.