Monday, February 14, 2011

Two Brothers, Two Flags, One Battle-- Part 2

Continuing with the story about the Drayton brothers at the Battle of Port Royal.

The prevailing military opinion at the time was that naval forces could not beat land forces and absolutely no one expected that the two forts would be attacked simultaneously. Admiral DuPont believed that by using a large fleet with the flexibility of steam power could take the forts.

The original attack was supposed to be November 1, 1861, but bad weather stopped it. A Cape Hatteras storm scattered the fleet and sank several transport ships. Cape Hatteras had been taken three months earlier.

Commencing on the morning of November 7th, from 9:30 to 1:15, the forts were bombarded. Then, Confederate forces were spied retreating from Fort Walker (upon occupying the fort it was discovered that only three of the cannons capable of firing at the fleet were still operational). Union losses were 31 killed and wounded. Confederate losses were 66.

Shortly later, Fort Beauregard was abandoned and the Union had a secure coaling and supply station located between Charleston and Savannah. Both forts were low on ammunition as well.

The Drayton Connection Next. --Old B-Runner

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