Item description: Letter, 7 September 1863, from Ed Mallett to his brother Peter Mallett about fighting taking place in Charleston Harbor, the early stages of the Second Battle of Fort Sumter.
Sept 7th 1863
My dear Brother
I have only time to write that after a terrific bombardment from land batteries, the river riders and six monitors for two days and nights cutting off communication with the island Batteries Wagner and Gregg have been reduced and are now in the hands off the enemy. I have not yet learned what the casualties are, nor do I know what troops were in the engagement except the 25th S.C. which was there on its first visit. We have so many guns bearing on Morriss Island that the enemy will work to great disadvantage in erecting guns on our ruins. We expect to have [dark times on this island now?].
The Yankee navy has done nothing., and Gen. Gilmore has accomplished his object only by our authorities neglecting to do their duty. Battery Wagner was allowed to remain in “status quo” without strengthening its armament at all and allowing without resistance the enemy come within our hundred and fifty yds with their parrallels and zig zags of what avail is military science, without practical common sense combined with energy it is truly useless. I have yet to see any great display of [g?] military science.
I never was more shocked than by the sad intelligence conveyed in your last letter. Bro. Charles writes me that our dear old father was completely overcome, it is a great affliction for a man of his age. His abiding faith in the goodness and Mercy of God who ordereth all things for a good purpose will I hope sustain him in this great trial.
Since commencing this letter I have learned that our troops succeeded in evacuating the forts last night. Love to your family.
Yours as ever,