The Seige of Charleston from Morris Island

The Federals from Morris Island shelled the city relentlessly the summer of 1864. It was no small concern for the Federal prisoners in the city jail. Foote mentions shells bursting nearby on several dates: August 2, 4, 5, 23, 30; Sept 2 and 17.  He would turn 21 years old on September 16th while confined in Roper’s Hospital in Charleston.

Foote wrote a narrative after the war in which he states that the Federal POWs were even used as ‘human shields’ by the Confederates at Charleston, “The principal drawback to our comfort was that we were under the fire of our own guns from General Gilmore’s batteries on Morris Island; in fact we discovered we had been placed there with a view of causing him to stop the shelling of the city.”

From August 1863 until the end of the war, Charleston was under constant shelling from Federal artillery positions inside fortifications throughout Charleston Harbor.

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