Christmas day was cold and windy. The only noteworthy event in camp was the arrival of a mail. Besides fatigue parties a detail for grand guard of two hundred and fifty men went out under Captain Pope. Our rifles had sounded their fearful Christmas chimes by throwing shells into the city for three hours after one o’clock that morning. About 3 A. M. a fire broke out in Charleston which illumined the whole sky and destroyed twelve buildings before it was subdued, the falling walls injuring many firemen. Chatfield joined Gregg in the bombardment directed upon the fire. The enemy opened rapidly for a time and then gradually ceased, but our guns continued to fire with more or less vigor all day. On their part the Confederates prepared a Christmas surprise for the gunboat ” Marblehead ” lying in the Stono near Legareville. At 6 A. M. some pieces on John’s Island, brought there at night, opened on the gunboat, but were soon driven away with loss of men and guns.
December 27-29, 1863
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