Loss of Charleston’s floating battery

The December 21, 1863 edition of the New York Daily Tribune ran a column with news “From the Department of the South.”  The column’s leaders ran, “The Loss of the Weehawken – Explosion-Fire in Fort Sumter – Harbor Obstructions Washing Ashore – Shelling of Charleston – The Steamer Planter Still With Us – Discovery ofContinue reading “Loss of Charleston’s floating battery”

Chevaux-de-frise and mountain howitzers: Improving Fort Sumter’s defense against landings

When built in the antebellum period, Fort Sumter could stand against the most likely threat to itself and Charleston harbor – wooden sailing vessels standing to bombard the fort.  But by the fall of 1863, the fort had fallen once to bombardment from land batteries (in April 1861), and was at that time being poundedContinue reading “Chevaux-de-frise and mountain howitzers: Improving Fort Sumter’s defense against landings”

Ericsson’s Obstruction Remover tried again at Charleston

When the U.S. Navy attempted to pass Fort Sumter in April 1863, one feared component of the Confederate defenses were the obstructions and torpedoes anchored between Fort Sumter and Sullivan’s Island.  Seven months later and those obstructions still barred the Federals from Charleston harbor.  Rear-Admiral John Dahlgren cited them in his assessment of the situationContinue reading “Ericsson’s Obstruction Remover tried again at Charleston”