Week of Sept. 1 - Sept. 7
Mon September 2, 2013
This Week in the Civil War - 648
On September 1 and 2, 1863 at Charlestown, South Carolina the Federal bombardment of Confederate defenses resumed with a total of 627 shot fired against Fortress Wagner on Morris Island and against Fort Sumter in Charlestown’s harbor.
Heavy Parrott rifles and Union ironclads battered Fort Sumter, crumbling the exterior walls, destroying most of its guns, and threatening its magazine. Mortars kept Confederate defenders pinned down as Federal land forces moved forward against Fortress Wagner, advancing Union entrenchments within just eighty yards of Wagner’s outermost, earthwork defenses.
Confederate General Pierre Beauregard began to doubt whether Fortress Wagner’s defenders could successfully withstand a direct Union, infantry assault which he knew would soon come. Despite the bombardment’s destructive effect on the city’s infrastructure, Charlestown’s civilians generally remained defiant against the Union assault.