Daily reports, 1863 Dec. 17-23

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    Fort Sumter, Decr 17th 1863 Major W. H. Echols Chief Engr S. C. Major, I have the honor to report that there was no firing on the Fort during the last 24 hours. The Negroes were engaged from 5 p.m. to 12 p.m. and again from 7 a.m. to 11 and from 12 to 2 p.m. today in mining in the 2nd tier of casemates W face into S.W. stairway; in filling mess rooms 2nd story, S.E. angle over timber blindage for bomb proof; in revetting with gabions and extending N.E. angle of central bomb proof; in opening passage into S.W. magazine; in adding earth to epaulment over ruins of W. mess rooms, in S. W. angle to repair damage to gorge wall by late fire; in revetting with gabions foot of slope of old bomb proof entrance to N. lower casemates; in mining passage through old mess rooms in S.W. angle, and in preparing for galling in N and N.E. casemates by cleaning away debris. Garrison details worked from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. employed in continuing to work in some of the placed mentioned, and in bringing sand bags from wharf to interior of Fort, and in removing [End Page 1] removing lumber from wharf. Water was thrown in large quantities into the passage leading into the magazine and into the room used by the Commissary by means of a long wooden pipe. Fifty additional hands arrived last night in charge of overseer Saunders who is retained until an overseer can be sent to take his place. Howitzer was mounted this morning on platform prepared for it in old position N casemate of W. face. Capt. Jno. Johnson is sick. I remain with much respect, Yr Old [illegible] FM Hall Asst. Engineer [End Page 2]
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    Fort Sumter, Decr 18th 1863 Major W. H. Echols Chief Engr S. C. Major, I have the honor to make the following report. The Negroes were employed from 5 p.m. to 12 midnight [and] again to day from 7 a.m to 2 p.m. in clearing for gallery in N [and] N. E. casemates; in mining through old S. W. mess rooms and in 2nd tier of casemates in S. W angle into S. W. stairway which is now ready for introduction of gallery; in extending and strengthening N. E. angle of centre bomb proof which is just completed; in opening way into Commissary store room; in continuing galleries into N. [and] N.E. casemates; in adding earth to epaulment over old S. W. mess rooms for the purpose of repairing injury to Gorge wall by late explosion. Garrison details were employed from 9. a. m to 5. p.m. in removing sand bags and lumber from wharf into parade, andin continuing work mentioned above when negroes were relieved at 2 p.m. The commissary store room is now accessible, and the interior shows the effects of the late explosion by the projection forward for about two feet at the top and one foot at the bottom of the whole of the brick partition between commissary room and magazine; the cracking of the flat arch forming roof of commissary store room in many places and the bending and twisting of copper door of entry way. Bones both animal [and] human were found in the embers. No firing from enemy during last 24 hrs on Fort Respectfully submitted F M Hall Asst Engr [End Page 1] Fort Sumter Decr 18th 1863 F. M. Hall Asst Engr Daily Report C. S. Engineers Office Charleston So Ca Dec 19 1863 Respectfully forwarded Wm H Echols Maj [and] Chr Egr SC [End Page 2]
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    Fort Sumter, Decr 19th 1863 Maj. W H Echols Chf Engr S.C. Major I have the honour to report as follows. The Negroes worked from 5 p.m. to 3 1/2 a.m. and again to day from 7 to 11 a.m. in packing rubbish between crown of arches and top of gallery in N. casemates; in mining through old mess rooms in S. W. angle; in clearing passage into Commissary store room; in erecting galleries in N. [and] N. E. casemates, and passage from 2nd tier of casemates into S. W tower for stairway. In cutting away portion of old bomb proof stairway protection, to give room and a wider field of fire to Howitzer in S. W angle of rampart; and in filling large crater on N. face to render gallery at that point bomb proof. Garrison details were employed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in removing sand bags filled from wharf and from S. W casemates into parade, and in clearing passage into Commissary store room. The roof of this room is flaking off a little, and [End Page 1] appears slightly bulged. I would respectfully suggest that this room be filled with earth, as it will be unsafe unless the large cavity in the Gorge wall be filled and it is also necessary to shore it with heavy lumber to make it tenable. It will also require more earth and labour to fill the cavity on the Gorge, than the rooms. Unless it has been determined to fill the former, it will be necessary to the safety of the W. Casemates to fill the Commissary room. One sick Negro was sent up last night. No firing on Fort since last report I have the honour to be Very Respectfully, Your old servt. FM Hall Asst. Engineer in Charge. [End Page 2] Fort Sumter Decr 19th 1863 F. M. Hall Asst Engr in Charge Daily Report C. S Engineer Office Charleston So Ca Dec 20 63 Respectfully forwarded Wm H. Echols Maj [and] Chf Eg So Ca [End Page 3]
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    Fort Sumter, 20th Decr 1863 Major Wm H Echols Chief Engr S. C. Major, I have the honor to state that since my last report the hands have been employed in filling large hole over gallery on N. face; in packing between crown of arches and top of gallery on N and N. E. faces; in mining into magazine passage through old mess rooms in S. W. angle; in continuing gallery through N. E. casemates, completing gallery from S. W stairway into 2nd tier casemates W. face and putting shelves in magazine S. E. angle. Three arches were filled with sand and rubbish over top of gallery; and the large crater on N. face nearly completed by filling. The Negroes worked from 5 p.m. to 12 midnight from 3 to 4 1/2 a.m. today in unloading boat and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. making over 13 hours in 24. Garrison details worked from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in removing sand and frames from wharf into parade. By order from Col. Harris Chf Engr , I have consulted with Lt Col Elliott , Comdg Post, about the disposition [End Page 1] of old Commissary store room. The following was the plan suggested which will enable us to preserve a store room, and at the same time guard against the chances of the Commissary room being opened by the fire of the enemy. A. B. C. D. section through old Commissary store room parallel with line of Gorge face A, East, B, West. By thus dividing the room with a blindage of timber covered to the roof with sand into two equal parts, space for storing is obtained without endangering the lower W. casemates. [G. F?]. represents displacement inwards of partition between magazine and store room by late explosion. Bill of timber for this purpose has already been telegraphed for to Lt. Young. The remains of a body were found under and at the foot of S.W. stairway in removing the earth from the passage last night. They have been boxed up and will be sent to the city tonight. The work of cleaning the passage from lower casemates into commissary room is continued without intermission and is nearly completed. No firing on fort [End Page 2] since last report, I have the honor to be, with much respect, your Old servant, F.M. Hall Asst. Engineer in charge. [End Page 3] Fort Sumter Dec. 20th 1863 F. M. Hall Asst. Engr. in Charge Daily Report CS Engineer Office Charleston, 21 Dec. 1863 Resply forwarded Wm. H. Echols Maj [and] Chf Eg. S. C. [End Page 4]
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    Fort Sumter, Decr 21st 1863 Majr W H Echols Chief Engr S. C. Major, I have the honour to report that the hands were employed from 5 to 12 midnight and again from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. They were principally engaged in filling and packing between soffit of arches and gallery in N and N.E. casemates. Three more arches were completed and a large breach in crown of one of the Northeasterly of arches of N. casemates completely filled with rubbish [and] sand. The whole length of gallery on N. face may soon be declared bomb proof. Mining was continued in S.W. angle through old mess rooms, progress very little, on account of great caving of earth. Heavy timber gallery around the base of reinforce interior S. W. angle of gorge was commenced, and will be soon finished. Main gallery along N and N. E. casemates is just completed. Great quantities of earth were taken out of arched entry way of S W casemates, and bagged and [End Page 1] laid near at hand for use in filling commissary store room. The steamer owing to accident failed to arrive last night; conesquently, having no tools to spare, the usual employment of the Garrison details, removing the cargo from the wharf into the parade was necessarily omitted. They were engaged however from 2 to 5. p.m. in continuing the filling of holes over arches of N. face. If tools could be furnished, details might be worked at the same time with the Negros to great advantage, as the work is now situated. Three more bodies have been discovered in close proximity to each other in S. W. arched brick entry. They will be boxed up and sent to Q.M. tonight. No firing since last report. I remain with much respect, Yr. Old Servt. F.M. Hall Asst. Engr. in charge [End Page 2] [left side of page] Office chief Engr Charleston Dec 22nd 63 Respectfully returned Maj Echols will communicate with Mr Hall and find out what tools he requires and send them to him D B Harris Col [and] Chef Engr C. S. Engineer office Charleston Dec 25 63 Capt. Johnson asked to delay the return till he returned to Sumter. He reports that he wants nothing. Respectfully W H Echols Maj [and] Chf Egr SC [right side of page] Fort Sumter, Decr 21st 63 F M Hall Asst. Engineer In Charge Daily Report CS Engineer office 22d Decr 1863 Reply forwarded al tools asked for have been furnished. Wm H Echols Major and [illegible] SC [End Page 3]
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    Ft Sumter Decr 22nd 1863 Major Wm H Echols Chief Engr S. C. Major I have the honor to report that the Negros were engaged from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. this morning [and] from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in continuing filling over gallery in N. angle, in completing gallery around base of reinforce S. W. angle, in unloading boats and landing heavy lumber, in mining towards magazine passages S. W. angle through old mess rooms and clearing away earth from cave in passage, and storing it near at hand for use; in framing heavy lumber for entrance to bomb proof S. W. angle, upper mess rooms and making door for magazine. Garrison details worked from 10 a.m. to 4p.m. today in carrying sand from wharf and W. casemates for use of Negros employed in filling over gallery. Revetment of interior of old quarters and work at S. W. stairway is greatly deterred by the great settling of earth from above. No firing to report. I have the honor to be Very Respectfully F M Hall Asst Engr in Charge [End Page 1] Fort Sumter Decr 22nd 1863 F M Hall Asst Engr In Charg Daily Report CS Engineer Office Charleston 23decr 63 Resplly forwarded Wm H Echols Maj [and] Chf Eg SC [End Page 2]
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    Fort Sumter, Decr 23rd 63 Maj W H Echols Chief Engr S.C. Major, I have thehonor to state that the hands were employed from 5 p.m. to 12 midnight, and again today from 7 to 2 p.m. in continuing filling between soffit of arches and top of gallery in N. and N. E. casemates; in mining into magazine passage S. W angle through old mess rooms; in revetting archways of S. W. casemates, and clearing entry way of earth from cave, ready for receiving revetment; in unloading boats and landing heavy lumber, in preparing and erecting frames in Commissary room S. W. angle. Garrison details were employed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in removing sand from wharf and old quarters into parade. Lt Col Harris visited the post last night. Capt. Jno Johnson arrived to take charge this evening No firing by enemy on Fort. Respectfully submitted F M Hall Asst Engr [End Page 1] Fort Sumter Decr 23rd 1863 F M Hall Asst Engr Daily Report CS Engr Office Chstn 24 Dec 63. Resply forwarded Wm H Echols Major [and] Chf Eg SC [End Page 2]
Title:
Daily reports, 1863 Dec. 17-23
Date:
1863-12-17, 1863-12-23
Description:
Records consist of letters containing daily reports submitted by Assistant Engineer F.M. Hall at Fort Sumter to Major W.H. Echols, "Chief Engineer, S.C." at Charleston, South Carolina.Reports (Dec. 17-Dec. 23) concern work on fortifications being done by slaves and soldiers as well as small administrative and military matters.
Contributing Institution:
South Carolina Historical Society
Media Type:
Manuscripts
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Hall, F. M.
Topical Subject:
Confederate States of America. Engineer Bureau, Confederate States of America. Engineer Dept, Confederate States of America--Defenses, Confederate States of America--History, Confederate States of America--History, Military, Confederate States of America--History--Sources, Fortification South Carolina, Fort Sumter (Charleston, S.C.), Slave labor, Slaves--United States, Slavery--South Carolina
Geographic Subject:
Charleston (S.C.)--History--Civil War, 1861-1865, United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865, United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--African Americans, United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Participation, African American, United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources
Language:
English
Series:
South Carolinians at Work
Shelving Locator:
43-0439
S.C. County:
Charleston County (S.C.)
Material Type:
image/jpeg
Copyright Status Statement:
Digital image copyright 2011, The South Carolina Historical Society. All rights reserved. For more information contact The South Carolina Historical Society, 100 Meeting St., Charleston, SC 29401.