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    Description

    The Battle for Charleston, on board the Steam Boat Expounder, Stono Inlet, S.C., April 11th, 1863: Describes the first attack against Charleston a dismal failure.
    A four-page letter with its original envelope postmarked "Port Royal, S. C." The letter was written by William G. McLane, a resident of Chester County, Pennsylvania. He was a member of Co. C of the 97th Pennsylvania Infantry. He describes their landing outside of Charleston, in part:

    "We went ashore the day before yesterday. We landed on Folly Island, but we

    came aboard again last evening. We didn't take our tents ashore with us. Very

    near all of the troops landed, but they are very near all aboard again except the

    pickets. We went ashore for the purpose of storming a Battery on the edge of

    Morris Island next to Folly Island, but we didn't do it for the reason that some

    of our pickets on Folly Island deserted that afternoon and went to the Rebels

    and told them that we were coming that night. They had a very strong force

    there waiting for us. The deserters were out of a N. York Reg."


    "The Monitors opened out on Fort Sumter at a quarter after two on Tuesday

    afternoon (7th), but they didn't do much damage to the Fort. The Rebels

    crippled five of our Monitors. So it is reported. I saw one of them that

    was crippled. I counted no less than ten ball holes through her smoke stack.

    Her turret was badly dinged too. They say that no less than two tons weight

    of balls struck her at a time. They are weighing anchor in all the vessels, so

    I must close till I know where we are going."

    "We are back to Hilton Head again & encamped in our old camp again. The

    whole fleet has come back again, and Charleston is yet in possession of the

    Rebels. We ought to try Charleston once more and then stop. I tell you there

    was some boys disappointed as we were all anxious to take Charleston. It is

    disheartening the way they are doing. I don't know what the reason is they didn't

    attack Charleston, but it is my opinion that General Hunter was promised

    reinforcements to meet him at Charleston, and they didn't come or something of

    that kind."

    "I am on guard around the entrenchments today, so I must stop for I have to go

    on. There was 3 or 4 of the Monitors came in today."

    The letter and cover are in fine condition. From the Calvin Packard Civil War Battlefield Letter Collection


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