Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Official Reports of the Operations in Charleston Harbor, S. C., December 20, 1860 – April 14, 1861: No. 20. – Report of Lieut. Jacob Valentine, commanding enfilading battery.

No. 20.

Report of Lieut. Jacob Valentine, commanding enfilading battery.

DEAR SIR: According to General Orders No. 20 I send a report of the firing from and against the enfilade battery and the conduct of the officers and men under my command. Number of shots fired from battery, 611. The object of our firing was to sweep the crest of the parapet, the roofs of the quarters within Fort Sumter, to dismount the barbette guns, if practicable, and to drive the enemy from the parapet. The latter object was accomplished. At this distance it is impossible to discern accurately the result of the firing. The firing from Fort Sumter against our battery was heavy, but, I am happy to say, ineffectual, and resulted in neither injury to the battery or to the men.

I take great pleasure in bringing to your notice Lieut. B. S. Burner, who, from the commencement to the last, was steady at his post, giving all necessary orders, and by his example gave double courage to the men under my command. I would also mention First Sergeant P. Cummings, Fourth Corporal G. Kay; also Privates Tracy, Stewart, Grant, Rawlins, Wheelis, Keen, Cody, Dwyer, and, indeed, the whole company, with but few exceptions, performed their duty to my entire satisfaction.

I cannot close my report without favorable mention of a volunteer (Charles Farelly), who in the working of the guns rendered us material service.

I am, colonel, your very obedient servant,
Lieutenant, Commanding Enfilade Battery.
 Col. R. S. RIPLEY.

SOURCES: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 1 (Serial No. 1), p. 53-4; This report is quoted in Samuel Wylie Crawford’s The Genesis of the Civil War: The Story of Sumter, 1860-1861, p. 429.

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