Today in History:

61 Series I Volume LIII- Serial 111 - Supplements


While on our way there Major Hnnessy overtook us, and Lieuenant Colonel Bennett and Lieutenant Haviland went into his boat. Both boats then pushed for Fort Ripley, but seeing that the Ripley boat, commanded by Major Hennessy, would outstrip me I ordered my boat to pull for Castle Pinckney. We laid on our oars while Major H[ennessy] raised the flag on the fort. Then came a race for Castle Pinckney. My boat struck first and three men of the Third Rhode Island Artillery sprang on the bank and tore down the Confederate flag. By that time Major Hennessy's men reached the flag pole, when a struggle ensued between the two parties as to which flag should be raised. The major's flag being smaller and easily handled his men succeeded in carrying their point. We then had a race for the city. Major Hennessy's boat led mine about fifty yeards. Lieutenant-Colonel Bennett, Major Hennessy, and part of the crew, composed of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers, landed immediately. Upon landing I threw out a guard of three men at the first street, two men of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers and one of the Third Rhode Island Artillery, with instructions to make prisoners of every man they saw. In a fe moments, from the stories of the prisoners and by permission of the lieutenant-colonel commanding, I advanced my guard another square. Horses were seized for the staff, in which business Private Haskell, Third Rhode Island Artillery, showed much activity and usefulness. In a short time Company A, Fifty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant-Gilchrist commanding, reported to me with the regimental flag. I ordered him to raise it on the old post office. Orderly Sergeant Kilian, Company A, unfolded to the breeze the banner of the regiment, the first that had floated over the city for four years. This flag remained here for two days, until required to advance into the country. Just at this time and place, too, a white flag was seen approaching. It proved to be in the hands of Mr. George Williams, who by order of the mayor of the city was on his way to meet the U. S. authorities and tender the surrender of Charleston, and to ask for assistance anjd protection against the disorder and destruction that threatened the city. The companies of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers marched to the arsenal and posts assigned them by the lieutenant-colonel commanding. As soon as they landed I ordered my guards to go around the city and make the firemen and all other citizens work to put out the fires. I got in a buggy and rode around to the various fires, some twenty in number, and forced everybody to work. On getting to the upper parts of the city I found four men chopping and destroying some abulances, but was unable to secure, them, having no guard with me. The flag brought with me from Morris Island was raised on the Citadel, and is there yet. The Twenty-first U. S. Colored Troops arrived in the city about 5 p. m. and were assigned to various posts as provost guard. I assisted Lieutenant-Colonel Bennett as acting assistant provost-marshal until relieved by Brigadier-General Schimmelfenning, when I commenced recruiting U. S. colored troops per Special Orders, Numbers 32, headquarters Department of the South. The above is correct to the best of my knowledge. In the hurry and excitement possibly some details may have been overlooked.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Fifty-second Pennsylvania Vols., and Supt. Recuriting.

Lieutenant H. A. MOTT,

Adjutant Fifty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers.