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FORTS AT CHARLESTON.
tccted, as it looks toward the land, and the work had been mainly intended as a defence against attack from the sea.
Although it was originally designed to have armed the fort with one hundred and forty cannon of various calibres, there were but seventy-five in position when the enemy opened fire. Of these, eleven were Paixhans, and a number, thirty-two pounders, four of which were en barbette, and uncovered, and being on pivots could be made to take a wide range. Fort Moultrie was within command of nine of the Paixhans, and the two others pointed toward Castle Pinckney, too far distant, however, to be within range. Most of the large columbiads in the fort were not yet mounted. The magazines were well supplied with ammunition, sufficient it was thought for a year, and artificial wells had been constructed capable of holding a supply of water for the same period.
The distance from Fort Sumter to Charleston is three miles and three eighths of a mile. Together with Fort Moultrie, which had been abandoned by Anderson, Sumter was surrounded by Cumming's Point and Fort Johnson, where strong works had been constructed and mounted, and a floating battery. From Fort Moultrie, Fort Sumter is distant one and one-eighth of a mile; from Cumming's Point threefourths of a mile; from Fort Johnson one and one fourth of a mile; while the floating battery had been anchored about half a mile from the weak side of Sumter. The greatest range of the
guns of Fort Sumter was estimated at three miles, which placed the city of Charleston beyond reach of its fire.
Six hundred men would have been required fully to garrison the fort and work the guns; but Major Anderson could only muster one hundred and nine,* of whom thirty were laborers, and fifteen composed the band.
The enemy had diligently improved every moment in strengthening the Federal forts they had taken possession of, and in adding new works, under the skilful direction of General Beauregard, once esteemed as among the ablest officers of engineers in the United States service.
Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan's Island, had been repaired, its dismantled guns unspiked and mounted again, and the lateral spaces between the cannon protected by sand-bags, to secure them against a flank fire. Though a weak work, in comparison with Fort Sumter, its walls, built of brick, capped with stone and filled in with earth, presented a solid enclosure of nearly sixteen feet in thickness. Its original armament
was composed of eleven guns of heavy calibre and several powerful mortars.
On Cumming's Point the enemy had erected a battery made of thick logs of yellow pine. This was covered with a slanting roof of the same material, which had been rendered ball-proof by railroad iron dovetailed and riveted together. The port-holes were supplied with iron shutters, which opened as the guns were thrust out to fire, and fell as they recoiled after a shot, and thus shut in the artillerists within an iron-bound and impenetrable cover. This novel battery was mounted with three columbiads, which bore directly on the southern and weakest side of Fort Sumter.
The most curious, and not the least effective, perhaps, of the enemy's works, was the floating battery, which in the course of its construction had given rise to much speculation and not a little ridicule. This, too, was constructed of heavy pine logs and faced with a double layer of railroad iron. It was about a hundred feet in length and twenty-five in width. Its face presented an angle horizontally disposed, formed by its retreating roof and the front wall inclining backward as it descended to the water. It was mounted with four guns of the heaviest calibre, which were said to require sixty men to work them. A magazine for ammunition was built in the hold, below the water-line, and lined with sand-bags, laid seven feet thick, not only to protect it from shot, but to act as ballast necessary to counterpoise the heavy armament above. To the stern of this strange structure was attached a
floating hospital, to provide for the ordinary emergencies of war.
At Fort Johnson—so called from its being the site of an old work no longer existing—on James' Island, two long batteries were erected of sand, and mounted with heavy cannon and mortars. Other temporary structures were raised, some of palmetto logs, and others of earth and sand, on Morris and Stono islands, Hadril's Point, and other parts of the harbor, which bore on its approaches, or upon Fort Sumter.
A large force, said to have amounted to over seven thousand men, had been mustered to the defence of Charleston. Four thousand of these were manning the works in the harbor, while the rest were held in reserve on Sullivan and Morris islands and in Charleston, to be ready to repel any attack by land.
The city itself was immediately defended by the fort at Castle Pinckney, and cannon on the Battery in front of Charleston. These, however, could only be of service in case the above works had failed to keep out any intruder. Castle Pinckney is situated at the southern extremity of Shute's Folly Island. Its armament consists of some thirtytwo pounders, columbiads, and mortars, amounting in all to about twenty-five pieces. Its walls are six feet in thickness, and are pierced for one row of guns, while there is another en barbette. The work is small, and of little importance in an attack from the sea. All the old defences had been greatly improved, and new ones constructed, by the skilful engineering of General Beauregard, the 14.3
LIFE OF BEAUREGARD.
officer who had been sent by the government of the Confederate States to take command at Charleston.
Peter Gustavus Toutant Beauregard had already, while in the service of the United States, won a distinguished reputation as an engineer. He was born on his father's plantation, near New Orleans. The family name is said to be Toutant, and that of the estate Beauregard, which, by a curious accident, was originally attached to the patronymic, and assumed by the present bearer, in this wise: The youth, when admitted a cadet at West Point, was presented as Toutant de Beauregard, signifying merely that he was a Toutant of the plantation of Beauregard, and thus entered upon the records of the institution. This, however, was supposed to be his surname, and he was so called. Not averse, probably, to the dignified sounding of the appellation, the youth did not care to correct the error, and subsequently assumed the name of Beauregard as his own.
His father was a wealthy Creole, with extensive estates in Louisiana, and a descendant of a reputable French family. His mother's name was Reggio, for whom has been claimed a descent from the Italian ducal house of the Reggios of Italy. In 1834, young Beauregard entered the military academy at West Point, where he graduated in 1838, ranking the second of a class of fortyfive cadets. On his graduation, he received the commission of a second lieutenant in the First Regiment of Artillery, but in a week after was transferred to
the Corps of Engineers. In June, 1839, he was promoted a first lieutenant, and was serving in this grade when the war with Mexico broke out. He accompanied the army to Vera Cruz, and continued with it during its career of conquest to the capital of Mexico.
At the very first moment he gave indications of that surety of eye, precision of foresight, and carefulness of judgment which are his distinguishing qualities. Before Vera Cruz, he was sent out at the head of a party of sappers and miners to dig and prepare a trench, in accordance with the directions of his colonel. Upon examining the ground, however, he appeared to find serious obstacles to the proposed plan. To assure himself, he climbed a tree, and with the aid of his glass took a careful survey, which resulted in confirming the objections to his colonel's plan. He discovered that the trench, if made as proposed, would be enfiladed by the enemy's guns. It was a difficult position for a young subaltern thus to find himself at variance with the judgment of his superior. He, however, did not hesitate, but returned to his colonel without having turned a sod. The officer, surprised to see him so soon, asked if he had done the work already. Beauregard replied that he had not touched it, and gave his reasons. The colonel was still more startled by the presumption of the youthful subaltern who had ventured to dispute the judgment of his superior, instead of submissively obeying his orders. He accordingly, with the characteristic peremptoriness of the military commander, reminded him of duties of obedience, and at the same time impatiently declared that "the ground had been thoroughly examined, a perfect reconnoisance had been made, and that a mistake was impossible." Notwithstanding this, he was impressed by the judgment of Beauregard, and took another survey of the ground, when he found reason to concur with the view of his young lieutenant.
For his gallant conduct at Contreras and Cherubusco, Beauregard was brevetted captain, to date from 20th of August, 1847, and again for his services at Chapultepec, he was promoted to the brevet rank of major, to date from the loth of September of the same year.
At the assault of the Belen gate of the city of Mexico, Beauregard was wounded, and throughout the whole campaign he was not only among the most brave, but ranked among the ablest and most useful of the officers. General Scott, in his dispatch from the capital of Mexico, into which he had just entered as conqueror, spoke of Beauregard as one of " our distinguished engineers," by the aid of whose efficient and daring reconnoissances, he was enabled to follow up the victory of El Molino del Rey with the triumphal capture of the city of Mexico. Again, in his official report, Scott alluded to Beauregard as one of the five lieutenants of engineers "who were the admiration of all" during the storming of the fortress of Chapultepec, the struggle at the gates, and the entrance into the capital.
Another illustration of the correct
ness of his judgment is given in the following incident, said to have occurred before the city of Mexico:
A night or two before the attack, a council of war was held. There were assembled all the officers, from the Lieutenant-General, including Major-General Worth and others, down to Beauregard, the youngest in the room. The council sat many hours. All the officers, but one, had spoken, and unanimously maintained a plan of operations at variance with that of Scott. The officer who had not tendered his opinion was Beauregard. At last General Pierce crossed over and said: "You have not expressed an opinion." '' I have not been called on," said Beauregard. Pierce, soon resuming his seat, announced that Lieutenant Beauregard had not given his views. Being then called upon, he remarked, that if the plan which had received the consent of all but the commanding general was carried into effect, it would prove disastrous. It would be another Cherubusco affair. He then detailed the objections to it at length; and taking up the other, urged the reasons in its favor with equal earnestness. The council reversed their decision. The city of Mexico was entered according to the plan urged by the young lieutenant, and it would seem that his reasons influenced the decision. A few days afterward, General Scott, in the presence of a number of general officers, alluded to Lieutenant Beauregard's opinion at the council, and the consequences which had followed from it.
On his return to Louisiana, the young hero was presented with a costly sword. The Government of the United States appointed him the chief engineer to superintend the construction of the Mint and Custom-house at New Orleans, and of the fortifications at the mouth of the Mississippi.
FIRE OPENED ON SUMTER.
Beauregard is now (1862) about fortythree years of age, and with his healthful manhood, his vigorous and concentrated frame, his promptitude of movement and power of endurance, has all the bodily qualifications for a hardy campaigner. His abilities and thorough culture as an engineer are unquestioned, and his admirers claim for him great capacity as a strategist and leader of armies.
Born in Louisiana, and bound to it by the strong ties of family and property, he has not unnaturally joined his destiny to the fate of his native State. He is, moreover, supposed to have been early involved in the Southern conspiracy, through the influence of his brotherin-law, John Slidell, the former senator of the United States from Louisiana, and one of the main instigators of the present rebellion.
"By authority of Brigadier-General Beauregard, commanding the provisional April forces of the Confederate States, 12« we have the honor to notify you that he will open the fire of his batteries on Fort Sumter in one hour from this time." This was the communication addressed by the aids-de-camp of Beauregard to Major Anderson at twenty minutes past three o'clock on the morning of Friday, the 12th of April. At twenty minutes past four o'clock, accordingly,
the batteries surrounding Fort Sumter opened fire. Major Anderson waited until full daylight, as he did not care to waste any of his ammunition before replying. He, however, immediately ordered the sentinels away from the parapets, the posterns closed, the flag drawn up, and forbid his men to leave the bomb-proofs until summoned by the drum.
The extent of the enemy's fire greatly surprised the garrison, which, however, was now explained by the revelation, for the first time, of a battery of which there had been hitherto no suspicion. This was a battery on Sullivan's Island, masked by a cover of brush-wood and other materials. Skilfully constructed, heavily mounted, and artfully protected, its fire was very effective. It showed seventeen mortars, throwing ten-inch shells, and thirty-three heavy cannons, most of which were columbiads. The shots from these powerful guns struck against the walls of Fort Sumter with a "terrific crash," as the defenders declared, and several of the shells burst inside the fort.
Major Anderson, however, did not respond, and as late as half-past six o'clock had not fired a shot, the men at that hour being at breakfast, which they ate "leisurely and calmly." Immediately after, however, everything was got ready for work. The garrison was so few in number and so worn out by the harassing labors of a long siege, that it was found necessary to husband its strength. The whole was accordingly divided into three reliefs or parties, which were to