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CHapTER 4 A Lofty Perch in St. Michael’s March 1864–November 1864 Augustine T. Smythe, Dill’s Bluff, James Island, S.C., to Susan D. Adger, Columbia, S.C. 6 March 1864 My dear Auntie Enclosed please find a photograph which you know I promised you some time ago. . . . The house at No. 36 has been struck again. The shell came thro’ the roof, into the same room as the other & burst in your room doing considerably more damage than the first but not breaking the mirrors. The pieces were scattered all around & one sticking in the wall which I especially charged Robt. not to take out but to leave in for Aunt Janey’s satisfaction to show after the war. The floor upstairs is pretty well torn up & your floor has three or four holes in it. . . . The fire the other day burnt down Bowens Kitchen & half his stables, the brick house on Water St. & partially burnt two or three wooden ones. They had hard work to save 34. The fence between was burnt down but Robt. has patched up a sort of temporary one. No. 36 was not otherwise injured. . . . Much love to dear Aunt Janey & the girls & much to yourself, Auntie, From your affectionate boy, Augustine 98 | A Lofty Perch in St. Michael’s St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, where Augustine T. Smythe was stationed in the steeple as a signalman. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. Augustine T. Smythe, St. Michael’s Church steeple, Charleston, S.C., to Margaret M. Smyth 31 March 31 1864 My very dear Mother, Here I am on my lofty perch1 behind a big telescope looking out for any movements of the Yankees which may be of sufficient importance to send up to Genl. Jordan.2 My tour of duty to-night is from 1:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. & I have been on duty half the day. . . . The duty is pretty heavy, as I am on every other day & half of every other night. The worst difficulty is the trouble of getting up here for it is not a joke climbing up 150 feet. . . . I have been on now two days & nights in succession, but hereafter it will be regular. Our place is the upper piazza above the clock. We have it boarded in & bunks put there for us to sleep in so that we are tolerably comfortable except the wind which blows thro the cracks of the boards at a great rate & there is always a wind up here. I still eat at home & shall try to fix it so as to sleep there every other night when I am not on duty. Our business up here is merely to keep a close eye on all the movements of the enemy & report them to the Genl. It is quite interesting to watch them as we have a splendid glass. Now it is daybreak & their vessels are moving about & soldiers March 1864–November 1864 | 99 marching on Morris Isl. at a great rate. Nothing unusual. It is well I am not superstitious up here at night sitting alone. . . . Good bye with love to all, From your boy Augustine Augustine T. Smythe, St. Michael’s Church steeple, Charleston, S.C., to Margaret M. Smyth Thursday 7 April 1864 My dear Mother, . . . You must not feel anxious about me up here & never fear my falling down the stairs, tho’ there are 170 of them. “High life above Stairs” with a vengeance. . . . It is no joke to walk up 170 winding stairs, I can assure you without trying to run either up or down them. Besides I know all the bad places by this time. There are four of us up here, two on every day. . . . Oh my, there goes that bell (10 o’c) & such a cracking & a shaking as this old steeple gets when ever they ring it is a caution. The first time you experience it, you feel certain that it is going to fall immediately. Now I have got rather used to it, but still it is not the most comfortable feeling I have ever had. It shakes so I can hardly write. . . . We have a rope ladder outside in case the steeple should be struck for us to descend, but it has passed safely thro’ so much that I am in hopes it will go thro’ the rest. It seems as if God’s providence was specially directed towards this venerable (but shaky) old Spire. . . . No news at all. The Yanks threw three or four shells into the City yesterday...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781611177718
Related ISBN
9781611177701
MARC Record
OCLC
965754175
Pages
200
Launched on MUSE
2017-06-17
Language
English
Open Access
No
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