Today in History:

19 Series I Volume VI- Serial 6 - Fort Pulaski - New Orleans


42-pounders; three navy 8-inch howitzers; two 24-pounder carranades, and two long English 12-pounders. Thirteen of these, viz, one 10-inch columbiad; one 10-inch columbiad, patters bored to a 32-pounder and rifled; one 8-inch columbiad, patters bored to a 24-pounder and rifled; one 8-inch columbiad; six navy 32-pounders, and three navy 42-pounders, being in all 13 guns, were ordered to be placed on the water front.

This involved the necessity of subdividing the spaces allotted to the guns in this battery, and consequently placing them in such near proximity as effectually to prevent the construction of traverses against enfilading fire. The salient of the bastions of the fort on the land side, and also of the demi-lune, were arranged for circular traverses, some of which were sent me; but, the necessary chassis and carriages, viz, one low navy carriage-to suit which an embrasure had to be cut through the salient of the demi-lune on the eve of the engagement-and one barbette carriage, the latter of which was placed in the salient of the south bastion, but with a limited traverse segment.

Two 8-inch navy howitzers were mounted on these carriages. The third 8-inch howitzer, intended for the salient of the north bastion, was never mounted, no carriage having arrived for it. Besides these, one navy 32-pounder was mounted on the exterior angle of each bastion, and one long English 12-pounder, en embrasure, was placed in the shoulders, to enfilade the curtain face of the work. One of these last was afterwards removed for beach defense. Besides the 8-inch howitzer two 24-pounders, en barbette, were mounted in the demi-lune.

For beach defense two heavy shell guns were designated to occupy the two exterior flanking works, which commanded the beach approaches on both sides, and to give a cross-fire on the front of the glaces, or, more properly, cover face to the water front of the works. In place of these, two light carronades arrived a short time before the bombardment, but without carriages or chassis. They were therefore simply buried in the sand to such depth and with such directions as to enable us to have at least one fire in the event of an attempt to storm the work. In addition to these the 12-pounder from the north bastion was placed in such position as to sweep the beach by the approach from the south. The ditches on the water front not being protected by bastions, I arranged caponieres, constructed of palmetto logs, pierced for two tiers of musketry, approached by galleries leading under the parapets from the interior of the fort. These completed the ditch defenses, and enabled us, in the event of the enemy attempting to cross-fire of canister and ball. As a protection to the land batteries of the fort I constructed a heavy traverse longitudinally to the work, and to insure against casualties form shot and shell bursting in the parade I arranged small traverses in rear of each gun of the water battery, sufficiently low, however, as to offer no obstacle to the passage of such shell as might graze the parapet of the water front.

It was my purpose to construct a splinter-roof over the entire place of arms between the principal traverse and the curtain of the work, and had ordered all the necessary material for that purpose. My requisitions for a steamer to transport the same some 30 miles were, however, not complied with, and I was enabled to cover in only about one-third of the proper space, and them by bringing ranging timber by hand nearly 2 miles, and by working day and night.

The magazine of the work was large and complete, and so protected that, though an enormous amount of shot and shell was fired against it,