Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bombardment of Fort Sumter - Day 2

On April 13th, 1861, the bombardment of Fort Sumter continued. The Confederates began to fire "hot shot," cannon balls heated in ovens, to attempt to set the buildings of the fort on fire. They were successful, and although the Union garrison was able to prevent the explosion of the powder magazine, they were not able to successfully fight the flames. The Confederates recognized the valor of the defenders, and cheered on their efforts.

At 12:30 Sumter's flagstaff was shot down, and soon after it was replaced the occurred occur the next day. Anderson reported to Washington:
Having defended Fort Sumter for thirty-four hours until the quarters were entirely burned the main gates destroyed by fire, the gorge walls seriously injured, the magazine surrounded by flames and its door closer from the effects of heat four barrels and three cartridges of powder only being available and no provisions remaining but pork, I accepted terms of evacuation offered by General Beauregard being on same offered by him on the eleventh inst. Prior to the commencement of hostilities...
One man described Fort Sumter after the siege thus:
It was a scene of ruin and destruction. The quarters and barracks were in ruins. The main gates and the planking of the windows on the gorge were gone; the magazines closed and surrounded by smoldering flames and burning ashes; the provisions exhausted; much of the engineering work destroyed; and with only four barrels of powder available. The command had yielded to the inevitable. The effect of the direct shot had been to indent the walls, where the marks could be counted by hundreds, while the shells, well directed, had crushed the quarters, and, in connection with hot shot, setting them on fire, had destroyed the barracks and quarters down to the gun casemates, while the enfilading fire had prevented the service of the barbette guns, some of them comprising the most important battery in the work.
Even with the heavy fire on the fort no one was killed. In the coming days we will see some of the effects of this first battle of the war.

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Josiah said...

Hurrah, boys, Hurrah!

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