Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 15: No 1) >> The Pen as Sword: Simms and the Beginning of the War — Rediscovered Writings from 1861 >> Page 15 / Our Sea Coast Defenses (16 July 1861)

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Page 15 / Our Sea Coast Defenses (16 July 1861)

Correspondence | 1861-07-16
Transcription with iron. Leave spaces between the sections large enough to take in a bale
of hay or a tight bound water cask. Or, if you choose, employ India rubber
sacks inflated. When you have got the proper depth for purchase, with water,
floor over with three inch plank. Root with ranging timber and iron, after the
plan of the Iron Battery on Morris Island. A forty foot raft thus planned, will
carry two or three 42-pounders. Sides and rear may be enclosed with shutters
of iron, or opened at pleasure, to be used in defence against an enemy in
small boats. Pierced with holes for musketry, the shutters may be let down,
or raised, according to circumstances, on the sides and rear. Two, or ten, of
these batteries may be bolted together, if so desired. Ten of them, with two
guns each, or even five, would demolish the Wabash, or any steamer now
blockading any Southern port, from Wilmington to New Orleans. And these
rafts, two or four, may be carried, and made to occupy any position in
respect to the vessel they would assail. They might be hooked together,
having two fronts to the steamer, while their sides, with iron shutter, pierced
from musketry, would settle the account with small boats. They would be as
hermetically sealed, thus constructed, as the back of a box-terrapin. We shall
resume the subject in future columns.

Charleston Mercury, 16 July 1861

Our Sea Coast Defences

It is almost inevitable that, with the first russet sky and hoar frosts of the
fast-approaching. fall, the contest for our liberties, properties and firesides
will, in a great measure, be transferred from Virginia to the sea coast of the
Southern States. There are many reasons why, if an attack is made, the coast
of South Carolina should be the one selected for that purpose. Of the whole
line of sea coast, from the Potomac to the Rio Grande, there is, probably,
none so exposed, from its topography, as that of South Carolina, and there
certainly is none with so narrow a slip of back country in proportion to its
coast. The State is in the form of a triangle the apex being in the
mountains, the base upon the sea. Of this coast, the whole line is indented by
very numerous harbors some them wide and noble entrances at present
very inadequately provided with defences.
Again, we all know it to be the darling ambition and great scheme of the
Northern people expressed a thousand times in a thousand forms to
invade and crush this State, and "chastise" the "rebels," and wipeout "the
nest of hornets." It is good policy on their part. The over-running of this
State would have great moral effect, both at the North and at the South, and
in Europe, in sustaining their cause. The aggressive plan of warfare in
general is evidently their proper policy. To "carry the war into Africa" is