The Battle for Charleston, on board the Steam Boat Expound...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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DescriptionThe 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
"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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