Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            AUGUST 23D.—Dispatches from Charleston, yesterday, brought the melancholy intelligence that FortSumter is but little more than a pile of rubbish. The fall of this fort caused my wife a hearty cry—and she cried when Beauregard reduced it in 1861; not because he did it, but because it was the initiation of a terrible war. She hoped that the separation would be permitted to pass without bloodshed.

            To-day we have a dispatch from Beauregard, stating the extraordinary fact that the enemy’s batteries, since the demolition of Sumter, have thrown shell, from their Parrott guns, into the city—a distance of five and a half miles! This decides the fate of Charleston for they are making regular approaches to batteries Wagner and Gregg, which, of course, will fall. The other batteries Beauregard provided to render the upper end of the island untenable, cannot withstand, I fear, the enginery of the enemy.

            If the government had sent the long-range guns of large caliber when so urgently called for by Beauregard, and if it had not sent away the best troops against the remonstrances of Beauregard, the people are saying, no lodgment could have been made on Norris Island by the enemy, and Sumter and Charleston would have been saved for at least another year.

            At all events, it is quite probable, now, that all the forts and cities on the seaboard (Mobile, Savannah, Wilmington, Richmond) must succumb to the mighty engines of the enemy ; and our gunboats, built and in process of completion, will be lost. Richmond, it is apprehended, must fall when the enemy again approaches within four or five miles of it; and Wilmington can be taken from the rear, as well as by water, for no forts can withstand the Parrott guns.

            Then there will be an end of blockade-running; and we must flee to the mountains, and such interior fastnesses as will be impracticable for the use of these long-range guns. Man must confront man in the deadly conflict, and the war can be protracted until the government of the North passes out of the hands of the Abolitionists. We shall suffer immensely; but in the end we shall be free.

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