This week in the Civil War | South Carolina fighting, violence in Kansas

August 23, 2013 

The Associated Press reported in a dispatch dated Aug. 25, 1863: “The bombardment of (Fort) Sumter still continues, and the south wall has been demolished almost to its base.”

For weeks, Union forces had attempted to smash through heavy Confederate defenses on islands ringing Charleston Harbor off South Carolina’s coast.

The AP dispatch added that rebel batteries had answered the Union’s artillery bombardment with bursts of return fire at short intervals.

Federal forces reported that their casualties were few and that “every confidence in success is felt by the officers and troops.”

At one point the bombardment became so intense, AP reported, that the entire southwest side of Fort Sumter had been reduced to rubble — “nothing but a heap of ruins.”

Even the Confederate flag flying above the fort was shot away during one barrage, AP reported.

In Kansas, meanwhile, authorities reported the discovery 150 years ago this week of 28 bodies — part of the sectarian violence that the war touched off in the West.

Witnesses said in dispatches that the discovery of murdered civilians in one town was “heart-rending and sickening.”

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