Today in History:

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


Dantzler (then in command of the Twentieth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, stationed in the sand-hills of Morris Island) would hurry down, as the tide was low, and if he did not hurry up the water would be too shallow to go straight to Fort Sumter, and, therefore, would have to follow the ship-channel, which was dangerous.

Respectfully, submitted.


Adjutant Twentieth South Carolina Regiment.

[P. S.]- The above was not communicated to Lieutenant-Colonel Dantzler, to my knowledge.

[Inclosure Numbers 8.]


September 3, 1863.

Colonel LAY:

COLONEL: I am the assistant quartermaster of the Twentieth South Carolina Volunteers; was upon Sullivan's Island, in Fort Moultrie, ont he night of the 30th August. Slept in the fort at the request of Lieutenant D. B. De Saussure, who informed me that the boats of the enemy were expected in that night, being promised the command of a gun in case they came. An order was issued requiring officers and men to sleep at the guns.

I retired to beg in Lieutenant De Sausurre's room, he promising to awaken me should anything occur. Between the hours of 12 and 1 a. m., as I supposed, I was aroused by the sound of voices and footsteps inside the fort. Arose at once and hurried to the battery commanded by Captain [J.] Valentine. Found officers in consultation in reference to a boat, which was pointed out to me, and which was approaching cautiously from the direction of the usual anchorage of the enemy's fleet. The vessel, as seen through a glass, was flat at each end and low in the water, while amidships she presented the appearance of a monitor.

At this time a shot was fired from a 10-inch gun in Captain Valentine's battery, the shot passing very near the boat. I noticed that it continued its course slowly, other shots following, each discharge making the boat more indistinct, as, in addition to the moon being obscured by clouds, the wind was blowing immediately from us to the boat, so that the smoke drifted away in that direction. I noticed lights signaling from Cumming's Point, and also a light at Fort Sumter, and, after some ten or twelve discharges, discovered a small and very dim light upon the boat. It seemed to me that it was shining through a small hole or crack in the boat.

I omitted to state that at the fourth or fifth discharge I noticed that sparks were emitted from the bow of the boat, showing clearly that iron was struck by the ball. After this the firing was more rapid, as no doubt seemed to exist as to her being an iron-clad. After the light was discerned, the fact was passed around, and the firing ceased, but was afterward resumed, and continued until a small boat was seen approaching the fort from the boat, when all firing was hushed as quickly as possible. The small boat contained an officer of the Twentieth Regiment, the captain of the boat, a negro, and a boy. They gave the first satisfactory information as to the character of the boat. I heard no cries nor whistle, but, after all firing ceased, heard steam escaping from the boat.