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ASSAULT ON FORT WAGNER.
supports did not come, Strong ordered returned. On being inquired for, Col. his brigade to retire, which was done Anderson, the officer in charge, answer. steadily and quietly. Soon afterwarded, rather brusquely, that their return the other brigade came up, and, as far was a matter of future consideration as possible, atoned for their past tardi- with his government. Thirty-eight of ness by their present deeds of valor. the rebel wounded were delivered up, Rushing impetuously up the glacis, un. the exchange being made on parole with. deterred by the fury of the enemy, out regard to numbers. Gen. Gillmore, whose fire was unintermitted, several of in a note to Beauregard, August 5th, the regiments succeeded in crossing the speaking of this keeping back the negro ditch, scaling the parapet, and descend wounded, said, that he could not but into the fort. Here a hand-to-hand regard the whole transaction as a pal
conflict ensued; but though pable breach of faith on Beauregard's 1863.
our men fought desperately, part, and a flagrant violation of his the enemy succeeded after a time, by pledges as an officer. aid of reinforcements, in repulsing our
Gillmore next made extensive prepa- . attack. About midnight, the order rations to plant new batteries, armed was given to retire, and the troops fell with the heaviest guns used in the serback to the rifle-pits outside of their vice, so as to bombard not only Forts own works. The loss on this occasion Wagner and Sumter, but also the city was very severe, numbering in killed, of Charleston. In the reduction of wounded and missing 1,530. The rebel Fort Pulaski (see p. 151), the heaviest loss was stated by them at about 150 gun employed was the rifle 42-pounder. killed and wounded.
Now, 200 and 300-pounder Parrott rifle An exchange of wounded prisoners guns were brought into use; and some was, a few days after the engagement, three weeks were spent in erecting the agreed upon, after a conference of Gen. batteries whence they were to discharge Vodges, Col. Hall and Dr. Cravens, un. their terrible missiles. The nearest of der a flag of truce, with Gen. Haywood these batteries were located a little and other rebel officers. On the after- short of two miles from Fort Sumter, noon of the 23d of July, the rebel about a quarter of a mile from Fort wounded were placed on board a hospi. Wagner, and a mile from Battery Gregg. tal boat, and the next day entered on the night of August 13th, our works Charleston harbor. She was met by were advanced within 420 yards of the steamer Alice, which had recently Wagner, without any suspicion on the run the blockade, and brought the reb- part of the rebels. Soon after daylight, els a cargo of machinery and supplies. a fire was opened from Wagner, Gregg The number of wounded brought was and Sumter, which continued for two 105, leaving 140 behind, as unable to hours, and was answered with great be moved with safety. It was particu. vigor from our batteries. On the 15th, larly observed that none of the wound. Fort Sumter was brought under fire for ed negro prisoners were among those the first time by our batteries, and the
of these guns.
range accurately and carefully secured. Beauregard due notice of
my intention Seven shots were fired for this purpose to do so."* from a 200-pounder Parrott, at a dis- Fort Sumter having been thus rentance of two miles and a half. One dered virtually useless to the rebels, of these went through the gorge wall, Gillmore next proceeded to perfect his making a hole four or five feet in di- operations against Fort Wagner. The ameter, and demonstrating the power siege was pressed with vigor. On the
26th of August, a fourth parallel and On the morning of August 17th, the sap having been completed, which ex bombardment of Fort Sumter was be-tended very close to Wagner, it was gun in earnest, and continued without determined to gain possession of a ridge cessation until it was, to all intents and of sand which interposed and was needpurposes, in ruins. Admiral Dahl- ful for our operations. It was bravely gren's force moved up at the same time, carried by the 24th Massachusetts, and and attacked Forts Gregg and Wagner. a number of prisoners taken. In the The latter was entirely silenced, and first week of September, a vigorons the former nearly so, between nine and bombardment was kept up from the ten o'clock. Two of the monitors then Ironsides and other vessels of the fleet moved to within a mile or so of the and the batteries on shore. At length south-east front of Sumter, and opened Gillmore's efforts were crowned with fire upon it. In the course of the after success, and on the 7th of September, noon the fleet retired, keeping up, how. Morris Island was evacuated by the ever, a fire upon Fort Wagner, to pre- rebels. Under the same date, Gillmore vent the rebels remounting the guns. reported the fact to the war departThe result of this active and unceasing ment at Washington, stating, among bombardment was briefly stated by other things, that “ Fort Wagner is a Gillmore, in a dispatch, under date of work of the most formidable kind, its August 24th: “I have the honor to bomb-proof shelter, capable of holding report the practical demolition of Fort
* Allusion is here made to a correspondence between Sumter as the result of our seven days' Gillmore and Beauregard. The former, on the 21st of bombardment of that work, including August, sent a demand to Beauregard for the immetwo days of which a powerful north- threatening, in case of non-compliance, to open fire
diate evacuation of Morris Island and Fort Sumter, easterly storm most seriously diminish- upon the city of Charleston. The rebel commander ed the accuracy and effect of being absent from his headquarters at the time did not
receive the communication till the next morning, when our fire.
I deem it un. he replied, in his usual style, denouncing Gillmore's necessary at present to continue the conduct as “ atrocious, and unworthy any soldier;" fire
threatening also some terrible retaliation, and dilating upon the ruins of Sumter. I have
the wickedness of firing upon a city "filled with also, at great labor, and under a heavy old men, sleeping women and children.” Gillmore's fire from James Island, established bat. He put aside most of Beauregard's remarks as requir
answer was in good temper and quite to the point. teries on my left, with effective range ing no notice at his hands, and deferred for two days of the heart of Charleston, and have the bombardment of the city.–For this and a previous
correspondence in July, see Appleton's " American opened with them, after giving Gen. Annual Cyclopædia” for 1863, pp. 137–142.
VIRTUAL REDUCTION OF CHARLESTON.
1,800 men, remaining intact after the enlarged and strengthened by Gillmost terrible bombardment to which more, so as effectually
as , effectually to command any work was ever subjected. We Fort Sumter and guard perfectly the have captured nineteen pieces of artil- entrance to the harbor. That part of lery and a large supply of excellent Charleston within the reach of the ammunition. The city and harbor of shells was greatly injured, and almost Charleston are now completely covered entirely abandoned by its inhabitants; by my guns.” Several additional pieces there was, however, but little further of artillery were subsequently found, progress made in the siege during the making, with the eleven guns taken remainder of the year. An attempt when the troops first landed, an aggre. was made by the rebels, by way of gate of thirty-six pieces captured on variety, on the night of the oth of Octhe island.*
tober, to blow up the steamer IronOn the night of the 8th of Septem- sides. A sort of nondescript vessel, ber, an attempt was made to gain pos- with a cigar-shaped hull, carrying a for session of Fort Sumter. About thirty midable torpedo
About thirty midable torpedo suspended to her boats were fitted out, manned by over bows, bore down upon the Ironsides, 100 sailors, under Lieut. Williams, and and the torpedo exploding against the about 100 marines, under Capt. Macaw. sides of the frigate, a great body of ley. The boats were towed near the water was thrown up, jarring the Ironfort, and the assault made; but the sides, but inflicting no serious dam. rebels were prepared, and repulsed the age. attack. Three of the boats were smash- At the close of the year, the secreed, and all who landed were either tary of the navy, in his annual report, killed or captured. Our loss numbered briefly noted the result of the operain all about eighty.
tions, above spoken of, in the southern Although Fort Sumter was not yet department: “Since the fleet, under occupied by our troops, nor the other Admiral Dahlgren, has remained inside powerful forts in the harbor reduced, the bar, and we have had possession still the army and navy, having posses- of Morris Island, the commerce of Charsion of Morris Island, held the key of leston has ceased. Not a single blockthe position. The firing was kept up ade-runner has succeeded in reaching at intervals upon Charleston and Fort the city for months, and the traffic Sumter, which latter still enjoyed the which had been to some extent, and empty privilege of flaunting the rebel with large profits, previously carried flag from its walls in the face of our on, is extinguished. As a commercial The forts on Morris Island were mart, Charleston has no existence; her
wealth, with her trade, has departed. * Gillmore congratulated the army on their signal success, especially in regard to Fort Sumter: "It has In a military or strategic view the yielded to your courage and patient labor. Its walls place is of little consequence; and whe are now crumbled in ruins
, its formidable batteries are ther the rebels are able by great sacri. silenced, and, though a hostile flag still floats over it, the fort is a harmless and helpless wreck."
fice and exhaustion to hold out a few