Today in History:

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


stopped some time before, the small boat coming up having been reported. Anything more that I know being only from what I have heard, I omit reporting.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant, and Officer of the Day.

[Inclosure Numbers 7.]

FORT MOULTRIE, September 3, 1863.

Lieutenant W. J. MARSHALL, Adjutant of Post:

LIEUTENANT: Being called upon for a statement of facts in relation to the firing into, and sinking of, the steamer Sumter, I have the honor to make the following report:

Between the hours of 1 and 2 (as well as I recollect), on last Sunday night I was aroused by the sound of the long-roll. I immediately reported to the battery, and saw coming in from the direction of the enemy's fleet a vessel which looked very suspicious, the vessel showing no lights. I was ordered to open fire from my battery upon her; but owing to the hazy night and the smoke from other guns, I could not see the vessel distinctly. By this time Fort Sumter and Battery Gregg had displayed lights, and I also observed a pale light on the vessel. At this time our batteries were ordered to cease firing. A small boat was then observed coming ashore, which proved to contain the captain of the vessel. I heard no whistle blow or any other noise. As soon as lights were displayed, this fort ceased firing.



Captain of Colonel Alfred Rhett, First South Carolina Artillery, commanding Fort Sumter.

FORT SUMTER, September 4, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report in relation to the sinking of the steamer Sumter:

On the morning of the 31st of August, at 2.30 o'clock, the officer of the day reported rapid firing form Fort Moultrie and the batteries on Sullivan's Island; and on making observations, with the assistance of an opera-glass, the object at which the firing was directed appeared to be the steamer Sumter, aground, and I was confident that she had troops aboard. I sent out all the small boats at my command to render all the assistance possible, and at he same time waved a bright light from the parapet as a signal to induce the batteries to cease firing; but, not succeeding, I called the signal officers and sent a dispatch over to Colonel Butler to the effect that he was firing on the steamer Sumter. The steamer also showed a dim light for a short while. I am unable to tell accurately, but probably there were as many as 40 shots fried by the batteries before they were aware of their mistake. I learn that several men were killed, and, among those who endeavored to escape by wanting and swimming, a few were drowned. The steamer was outside the sand-bar, off the fort, and was near the position usually occupied by the monitors,