Download Gate of hell: campaign for Charleston Harbor, 1863 by Stephen R. Wise PDF

By Stephen R. Wise

Recognized for sharply affecting the Civil War's final result, the Charleston crusade of 1863 integrated the conflict for Battery Wagner, which featured the Union African American regiment portrayed within the movie Glory in addition to crimson move founder Clara Barton. Stephen R. clever vividly re-creates the crusade in Gate of Hell, and his retelling of the conflict pits not just black opposed to white and North opposed to South but additionally military opposed to military. clever contends that the importance of the crusade extends past its final result, arguing that an knowing of the tactic used at Charleston is key to realizing the very nature of the Civil battle.
Lasting virtually months and leading to hundreds of thousands of casualties, the crusade begun as a joint army-navy operation. clever keeps to stick with the crusade throughout the seize of Battery Wagner and near-demolition of castle Sumter to its ultimate days, while the Confederates avoided Union forces from getting into the port urban. clever describes the crusade as an incredible checking out flooring for African American troops and attributes Lincoln's enlargement of African American recruitment to the admirable functionality of the 54th Massachusetts. clever eventually concludes that the ability, and every so often silly theatrics, of the campaign's leaders decided the process the crusade.

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Additional info for Gate of hell: campaign for Charleston Harbor, 1863

Sample text

Confident that even Yankees would not be foolish enough to try a major advance through the marsh, the Confederates did not build any defenses along the island's eastern rim. Instead the Confederates concentrated on keeping the enemy out of the Stono River, therefore stopping a repeat of the 1780 British attack. To guard against this, an important set of fortifications were constructed centering on Cole's Island at the mouth of the Stono River. The defenses on Cole's Island served a dual purpose.

One work that Beauregard could not protect with earth embankments was Fort Sumter, but Sumter's vulnerability was also its strength. Its fifty-foot-high walls were easy targets for both naval and land bombardment, but heavy guns mounted on its top tier were Charleston's primary defense against naval attacks. Here the Confederates mounted Brooke Rifles and 10-inch Columbiads that could fire down on the deck of attacking warships, sending their shot and shell into vessels' hulls. No wooden warship could survive such fire, and even ironclads were possibly vulnerable to plunging shot smashing into their decks.

The Confederates were well aware of this history and did not want it repeated. On the harbor side of James Island the Confederates strengthened Fort Johnson, a derelict fortification that had been turned into a quarantine station and a government storage site. As a harbor fort its purpose was secondary. Forts Sumter and Moultrie guarded the harbor entrance, and at best, Johnson's guns could only annoy vessels once they passed the outer works; however, should an enemy seize Fort Johnson, as the British had done in 1780, Charleston and the inner harbor would be exposed to direct artillery fire.

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