“Thirty shells struck the hull of the steamer….”: End of the hard-luck Etiwan

When the sun rose on June 7, 1864, the Federals on Morris Island spotted a new target in Charleston harbor.  Lieutenant-Colonel William Ames, 3rd Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, reported: I have the honor to report that at daylight on June 7, a small river steamer was discovered from Fort Putnam aground on a shoal 3,200Continue reading ““Thirty shells struck the hull of the steamer….”: End of the hard-luck Etiwan”

Federal Forts and Batteries on Morris Island, Spring 1864

After the fall of Battery Wagner in September 1863, records of Federal works on Morris Island lack the superb documentation seen throughout the summer siege operations.  In stark contrast to the detailed engineering reports and diagrams, far fewer maps, profiles, or descriptions exist for the fortifications re-purposed for the longer operations from October 1863 toContinue reading “Federal Forts and Batteries on Morris Island, Spring 1864”

Mortars at night against Fort Sumter: Another “minor” bombardment

Although not at the rate seen the previous fall, shot and shell still fell around Charleston as the spring season arrived.  Federals on Morris Island continued what is best described as “harassing fire” on Fort Sumter.  Usually no more than a handful of mortar or Parrott rifle rounds.  But on the afternoon of April 3,Continue reading “Mortars at night against Fort Sumter: Another “minor” bombardment”