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strous torpedoes, and the desperation of the en- diately upon arriving off the bar the latter vessel, emy, were only additional fuel to the fire; so drawing only seven or eight feet of water, went that it was without regret we started on our in to sound out a channel, and lay buoys for mission. The general outline of that memor- the rest. Not a gun was fired at her, the enable engagement is, perhaps, familiar to every emy not seeming interested in the subject, or one; yet an account of it, as those on the iron- else willing to give that small advantage. Sevclads saw it, may not be uninteresting.
eral hours were thus occupied, and rough weathCertain inventions called "devils," for blow- er coming on, the bar was not crossed until the ing up obstructions, being merely triangular following morning. In every direction there rafts with torpedoes suspended underneath and seemed to be nothing but batteries and guns, designed to be pushed ahead of the ships, were while Fort Sumter's walls were crowded with towed up by the steamer “Ericsson.” These pieces of every description. affairs were christened “boot-jacks” from their The moment had come. Every one looked peculiar shape, yet only one captain was found anxiously toward the Ironsides, on which the willing to risk his vessel by having such a dan- Admiral had taken quarters, for the signal to gerous instrument attached.
It was, therefore, start. Thirty guns against four hundred! How arranged that he should take the lead, not only hopeless seemed the task! No wooden gunto avoid getting entangled with the rest (for the boats or men-of-war crossed the bar, and no infernal machine exploded by percussion), but to mortar-schooners took up position to shell the clear up any sunken obstructions that might be batteries. The former would soon have been in the way. Life-rafts, capable of holding a riddled with shot; the latter rendered inefficient ship's crew, had been provided for every iron- by the roughness of the sea, even inside the bar. clad, and after arriving at North Edisto they were The iron ships were alone to undertake the rigged and tried. Imagine four enormous life- work. They were each and all thoroughly preservers, eighteen or twenty feet long by four smeared with grease to glance shot, and their in diameter, lashed firmly to each other, with smoke-stacks painted of various colors, as distwo or three boards as seats and for attachment tinguishing marks. Shortly after noon, April of mast and row-locks thrown across, the whole 7, 1863, the signal was raised, and the battle so affair inflated by bellows, and you may realize long anticipated was to begin. some idea of the character of one of them.
No one looking from this side the battle can sailed remarkably well.
realize the feelings of the participants just on A day or two was consumed in a few final its eve. Slowly we steamed along in single arrangements at North Edisto, and on Sunday, file, and gradually there settled down a solemn the 5th of April, the iron-clad fleet steamed hush almost death-like. The moments seemed away for Charleston-nine all told, seven Moni- lengthened to hours; and not a sound save the tors, the Ironsides, and the Keokuk. Imme-plash of the propeller broke the terrible silence.
Passed one battery after another, and not a gun | rary retirement on the crews was most damagwas fired. A torpedo blowing the ship into the ing, so thoroughly resigned had every one beair would almost have been welcomed, when come to the belief that the forts must be taken suddenly, like the crash of thunder, every bat- or the ships sunk. There was, however, no tery opened, and for a few long moments the help for what necessity required; and out again roar of guns, the hiss and scream of shells, the from under fire we all steamed to anchorage, quivering of the ship, and the tremendous ex- opposite Cummings's Point Battery. plosions from our own heavy pieces, drowned The Ironsides had grounded for a time off the loud voices of command and the painful Cummings's Point, the Keokuk had been pierced feelings of suspense alike. Our first shot was in several places, the Nahant was injured in at Moultrie, and then individed attention was much the same way as the Passaic, and the given to the northeast angle of Sumter, within whole fleet somewhat seriously battered. Not 500 yards of which we already were. In a very one of the Monitors, however, was permanently few moments not a thing could be seen for the disabled. The Keokuk, about whose sinking smoke, and both sides slackened their fire, only no fears were then entertained, anchored near to recommence with redoubled fury.
the channel by which we had entered. All the Piles could be seen driven across the channel others lay still within range, although the enefrom Sumter to the end of Sullivan's Island; my kept silence. The damage to Fort Sumter and in front of them a row of barrels, sustain- could be plainly seen, and numerous immense ing probably some sort of infernal machines, holes showed the power of 15-inch shell. By only a few hundred yards ahead; and farther the morning the rebels were at work mounting in a triple row (behind which were the rebel new guns, and throwing up a new parapet of rams), running from Fort Johnson to Mount sand-bags on the northern wall of the fort. Pleasant. The preceding diagram, drawn by Damages to the fleet were soon repaired, sufour pilot, a Charleston man, may perhaps better ficiently to renew engagement. But that day explain the condition of the harbor than any de- passed, and the next, and next, yet no movescription. In less than half an hour, so furious ment was again made. Murmurs, dissatisfacwas the fire, our turret was temporarily disa- tion, and hard names were frequently heard bled, the top of the pilot-house blown off, the among the officers and crew, who naturally 11-inch gun disabled, smoke-stack riddled, boat could not and would not see any reason for not smashed, and various other lighter injuries in- going in again. For five days we lay thus, our flicted. Signal was made to that effect, and it discomfort growing almost unbearable. The happening that four others made the same at turret was necessarily kept raised for action, the time, the whole fleet was ordered to retire. and the sea constantly breaking over the decks, The effect of even what was believed a tempo a constant stream of water was poured under
neath it upon the blower belts, thus almost stop battle started for Port Royal. Before starting, ping the blowers and our supply of air, added however, the Nantucket accidentally took fire; to this, the hatches were necessarily kept down, but though some alarm was created, no serious and the tracking of grease down below, the damage resulted, beyond the burning of a few darkness, the intensely foul air from the con- stores and bulk-heads below. gregation of eighty men into so narrow a space, Thus ended, in this attack so briefly described, and the rolling of the ship, could not fail to the incidents of the cruise; for after returning enervate and sicken the healthiest crew. to Port Royal (though the ship was supposed to
The Keokuk sank the day following the bat-be destined for the Mississippi) orders were retle, although at low tide the tops of her turrets ceived ere long to proceed to New York. The could be seen. She was so nearly inshore that voyage, so tedious when outward - bound, was the enemy erected a battery to prevent our rais- fair and pleasant, and consumed only a few days. ing her. Attempts were made to blow her up As I close this record orders are received without success, the devils being considered too directing the Passaic to proceed again to the dangerous to employ for the purpose. She was South, to take part in the renewed attack which left to bury herself in the sand, or be destroyed is now being made upon Charleston, and in fourby time, and her iron-clad companions in the land-twenty hours we shall be on our way.
SCENES IN THE WAR OF 1812.
At the time we are considering that frontier IV.—THE NIAGARA FRONTIER.
was sparsely settled. Buffalo was a little scatJHE chief feature in the plan of the first cam-tered village of about a hundred houses, but was
paign in 1812 was the invasion of Canada a military post of sufficient consequence to inat three points simultaneously, namely, at De- vite the invader during the second year of the troit, on the Niagara frontier, and on the St. war. Only fifty years ago the tiny seed was Lawrence frontier. The invasions at Detroit planted of that now immense mart of inland and vicinity, by Hull and Harrison, have al-commerce containing eighty thousand inhabitready been treated of in the first and third series ants. Where now are long lines of wharves of these papers; we will now consider the oper- with forests of masts and stately warehouses was ations toward the same end on the Niagara Riv- then seen a sinuous creek, navigable only for er, from the attack on Queenston in the autumn small vessels, winding its way through marshy of 1812 to the desolation of that frontier by the ground into the lake, its low banks fringed with British at the close of 1813.
trees and tangled shrubbery. Two miles below Immediately after war was declared the bel- Buffalo was Black Rock, a hamlet at the foot ligerents commenced active hostile movements of Lake Erie and of powerful rapids, where there at the eastern end of Lake Ontario and on the was a ferry; and almost opposite was Fort Erie, banks of the St. Lawrence River. While these a British post of considerable strengtả. Nine operations were attracting much attention, and miles below, at the falls of Elliott's Creek, was Northern New York was seriously threatened the village of Williamsville; and at the head with invasion, important events were transpir- of the rapids above Niagara Falls were the reing toward the western end of the lake and on mains of old Fort Schlosser, about a mile below the Niagara frontier. That frontier, extending Schlosser Landing, near which is yet standing along the Niagara River from Lake Erie to Lake an immense chimney that belonged to the EnOntario, a distance of thirty-five miles, was the glish “mess-house," or dining-hall, of the garritheatre of many stirring scenes at almost every son stationed there several years before the Rev. period of the war. The Niagara River is the olution. Opposite Schlosser, at the mouth of grand outlet of the waters of the vast upper Chippewa Creek, on the Canada side, was the lakes into Ontario, and divides a portion of the village of Chippewa, inhabited by Canadians and State of New York from that of Canada. Half-Indians. At the Falls, on the American side, way between the two lakes that immense body was the hamlet of Manchester; and seven miles of water pours over a limestone precipice in two below was the village of Lewiston, with a conmighty cataracts, unequaled in sublimity by venient landing at the base of a bluff. Oppoany other on the surface of the globe.
site Lewiston was Queenston, overlooked by lofty