Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

"Neither Known Nor Appreciated By the Public": Naval Operations Off Charleston

OCTOBER 18, 1863: Rear Admiral Dahlgren, writing Secretary Welles that the role of the Navy in the capture of Morris Island was "neither known nor appreciated by the public at large." He noted that in the two-month bombardment of the city that the ironclads of his squadron had fired more than 8,000 shot and shells and had received nearly 900 hits. //// "By the presence and action of the vessels the right flank of our army and its supplies were entirely covered; provisions, arms, cannon, ammunition....were landed as freely as if the enemy was not in sight, while by the same means the enemy was restricted to the least space and action. //// Indeed, it was only by night, and in the line from Sumter (whose guns covered the operations), that food, powder, or relief could be introduced, and that very sparingly. The works of the enemy were also flanked by our guns so that he was confined to his works and his fire quelled whenever it became too serious." //// Quite the boasting from the admiral, but what if the Confederates had had a fleet to match his at Charleston? Plus, look at what happened every time his ironclads seriously engaged Confederate fortifications. --Old B-Runner

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