Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/223
Letters from Fort Sumter. 213
teen privates and three officers wounded. In all the enemy fired 910 shots at the fort, out of which 600 struck. The fort is badly used up — four guns dismounted, though all unimportant. Our battery has not been hurt so far. We expect a renewal of the attack to- morrow. Batteries Wagner and Gregg are uninjured. At the former the casualties were seven killed and twenty- eight wounded ; at the latter one killed and five wounded. * * *
Fort Sumter, August 19, 1863.
My Dear Father, — The bombardment still continues hot and heavy, and we are holding out as well as possible under the circum- stances. It is useless longer to conceal the fact — the fort is terribly knocked to pieces. Though there is no reason at present to aban- don it, its fall is only a question of time. Many guns have been dismounted, and all the guns on the gorge face are unserviceable on account of the parapet's being knocked away. The enemy throw 200-pound Parrotts at us at the rate of one thousand per day. They ceased firing last night, the first intermission since day before yester- day morning. The fort has not replied since day before yesterday, though our main battery is still in good condition. I cannot imagine the reason, and the policy is condemned by every officer of the gar- rison. It may not, it would not, alter the state of affairs to open fire, but the honor of our country, the honor of ourselves, and the reputation of the gallant old fort demands it. I trust we will remain and fight the fort to the very last extremity. If she falls, let her and her devoted defenders fall together and gloriously.
The Brooke gun was disabled yesterday by reason of part of her carriage being shot away. We took advantage of the intermission last night, however, to replace it with another carriage, and the gun is all right again.
It is now 12 o'clock M., and while I write the shells are bursting all over us and the bricks are flying wildly. Yesterday 895 shots were fired at us, but we had but few casualties. Only three men slightly wounded. To-day we have not been so fortunate. Already one man has been killed and five wounded. George [a colored ser- vant] behaves like a man. I gave him his choice to go to town or not, as he wished. He replied that he would not leave me.