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hours and a quarter, captured all his strongholds upon that part of the island, and pushed forward my infantry to within six hundred yards of Fort Wagner.
We now hold all the island except about one mile on the north end, which includes Fort Wagner and a battery on Cummiugs' Point, mounting at the present time fourteen or hftcen heavy guns in the aggregate.
The assaulting column was gallantly led by Brig.Oen. Strong. It landed in small boats under cover of my batteries on Folly Island and four monitors led by Kear-Admiral Dahlgren, which entered the main channel abreast of Morris Island soon after our batteries opened. The monitors-continued their fire during the day mostly on Fort Wagner.
On the morning of the 11th instant, at daybreak, an effort was made to carry Fort Wagner by assault. Tho parapet was gained, but the supports recoiled under the fire to which they were exposed and could not be got up. Our loss in both actions will not vary much trom one hundred and fifty in killed, wounded, and prisoners. We have taken eleven pieces of heavy ordnance and a large quantity of camp equipage.
The enemy's loss in killed, wounded, and missing, will not fall short of two hundred.
Q. A. GILLMOKE, Brig.-Gen. Commanding.
The portion of Morris Island not yet taken by Gen. Gillmore was well fortified. Fort Wagner was a strong work, constructed of immense timbers and rafters covered over with earth and sand some twenty feet thick. Its distance from Fort Sumter in an air line was about a mile and a half, and four and a half miles from Charleston. On the part of the island called Cnmmings' Point was Battery Gregg, about three-fourths of a mile from Fort
Sumter. Morris Island is about five miles long and some three or four miles wide. Along the sea coast is an irregular ridge made of sand heaps, which is about half a mile wide, the rest of the island is low, level, marshy land, much of which is Hooded at high tide. Tho Confederate forces on the island were under the command of Brig.-Gen. Harrison, of Georgia; Fort Sumter, which stands within the entrance, and nearly in the centre of the harbor, was under the command of Col. Rhett. The walls were protected by tiers of sand bags in the inside, some twenty feet thick, thus making an obstruction of brick and sand some twenty-sis feet. Fort Moultrie is nearly opposite Sumter, on tho north side of tho harbor, and distant about one and one-fourth miles. Up the harbor on the southern side is Fort Johnson, one and one-fourth miles distant. About a mile beyond, in the middlo of the harbor, on the "middle ground," is Fort Ripley. Castle Putney is in the same line, and on the north side of the harbor at the mouth of tho Cooper river. There were, in addition, numerous batteries at various points on all the islands and the front of the city, and also works facing the land attack on James Island. The whole number ot guns in position and afloat for the defonco ot Charleston, was estimated at three hundreu and seventy-six. The naval force under Admiral Dupont, composing the South Atlantic blockading squadron, consisted of sixty-one vessels of all classes, mounting three hundred and ninety-six puns. But iron clads, carrying in all about thirtyfour guns, were expected to take the active part in the operations in the harbor.
After the failure of the assault upon Fort Wagner, Gen. Gillmore set to work to bring his heavy guns into position, not only for an attack upon Wagner, but upon all tlie works of the enemy, and also to throw shells into Charleston. The form of the contest now consisted in pushing forward the siege works and annoying the enemy as much as possiblo with sharpshooters and shells. The enemy acted in the same manner. Fort Johnson night and day threw shells, which burst above the workmen in the trenches. Wagner was kept quiet by the ship Ironsides and the monitors, while these in turn were attacked by the guns of Gregg and Sumter.
On the 18th of July, about twelve heavy guns were in position, besides eight or ten mortars, within eight hundred yards of Fort Wagner, and Gen. Gillmore determined on making another attack. It was commenced at noon by Gen. Gillmore's batteries and the frigate Ironsides; five monitors, two mortar schooners, and three wooden guuboats soon joined in. The enemy replied briskly from Fort Wagner, Battery Bee, beyond Cummings's Point, and the guns on the southwestern face of Fort Sumter. Their fire was chiefly directed against the vessels, occasionally a shell was thrown at the batteries. Soon after four o'clock the firo of Fort Wagner ceased. It was known that one gun had been dismounted and another was supposed to have exploded. Under the impression that the works were evacuated, another attempt to occupy them was determined upon. For this purpose two brigades consisting of the 7th Connecticut regiment, the 3d New Hampshire, the 9th Maine, the 76th Pennsylvania, and the 48th New York, under Brig.Gen. Strong, and the 7th New Hampshire, 6th Connecticut, 62d Ohio, 100th New York, and 54th Massachusetts (colored), under Col. Putnam, wero ordered forward from behind the sand hills. The brigades were formed in line on the beach, with the regiments disposed in columns, the colored regiment being in advance. This movement was observed at Fort Sumter, and a firo was opened on the troops but without effect. At dark the order was given for both brigades to advance, Gen. Strong's leading and Col. Putnam's within supporting distance. The troops went forward at quick time and in silence, until the 54 th Massachusetts, led by Col. Shaw, was within two hundred yards of the work, when the men gave a fierce yell and rushed up the glacis, closely followed by the other regiments of the brigade.
The enemy, hitherto silent, opened upon them furiously with grape, canister, and a continuous fusiliide of small arms. The negroes, however, plunged on, and many of them cross
ed the ditch, although it contained four feet of water, guining the parapet. They were dislodged, however, in a few minutes with hand grenades, and retired, leaving more than onehalf of their number, including their colonel, dead upon the field. The 6th Connecticut regiment, under Lieut.-Com. Rodman, was next in support of the 54th, and they also suffered terribly, being compelled to retire after a stubborn contest. The 9th Maine, which was next in line, was broken up by the passage of the remnant of the repulsed colored regiment through its lines, and retired in confusion, excepting three companies which stood their ground.
It now devolved upon the 3d New Hampshire regiment to push forward, and, led by Gen. Strong and Col. Jackson in person, they dashed up against the fort. Three companies gained the ditch, and wading through the water, found shelter against the embankment. Hero was the critical point of the assault, and the second brigade, which should have been up and ready to support their comrades of the first, were unaccountably delayed. Gen. Strong then gave the order to fall back and lie down on the glacis, which was obeyed, without confusion.
While waiting here, exposed to the heavy fire, Gen. Strong was wounded. Finding that the supports did not come, Gen. Strong gave the order for his brigade to retire, and the men left the field in perfect order.
Soon afterward the other brigades came on, and made up for their tardiness by their valor. Rushing impetuously up the glacis, undeterred by the fury of the enemy, whose fire was not intermitted, several of the regiments succeeded in crossing the ditch, scalirg the parapet, and descending into the fort. Here a hand-to-hand conflict ensued. The troops fought with desperation, and were able to drive the enemy from one side of the work to seek shelter between the traverses, while they held possession for something more than an hour. This piece of gallantry was unfortunately of no advantage. The enemy rallied, and, having received reinforcements, made a charge upon them and expelled them from their position by the force of numbers. One of the regiments engaged in this brilliant dash was the 48th New York, Col. Barton, and it came out almost decimated. The 48th was among the first to enter the fort, and was fired upon by a regiment that gained the parapet some minutes later, under the supposition that it was the enemy. About midnight the order was given to retire, and the troops fell back to the rifle pits outside of their own works. The loss in killed, wounded, and missing, was fifteen hundred and thirty.
Gen. Gillmore now made his preparations to bombard both Wagner and Sumter, and tho city of Charleston.
Meantime a correspondence took place between the opposing commanding officers.
Under date of Headquarters Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, Charleston, S. C, July 4th, 1863, Gen. Beauregard says that it is bis duty, iu the interests of humanity, to address Gen. Gillmore, with a view of effecting some understanding as to the future conduct of the wur in this quarter. And then, alter alluding to the expedition set on foot bv his predecessor, Maj.-Gen. Hunter, to the Combahee river, which seized nnd carried away negro slaves off plantations on its banks, ravaged the plantations. Ac, he says he does not propose to enter upon a discussion touching that species of pillaging, but desires to acquaint Gen. Gillmore formally that more than one plantation was pillaged, buildings burned, and crops destroyed—acts which were not rendered necessary by any military exigency.
Then he takes up the question of the employment of negroes, and quotes Napoleon, to show the " atrocious consequences which ever resulted in the employment of a merciless, servile race as soldiers ;" that Napoleon refused to employ the serfs in his campaign against Russia, because he dreaded the results of a civil or intestine war. He characterizes all who call to their aid such material, in the language of the publicists, as barbarians, &c. In conclusion, ho asks whether the acts which resulted in the burning of the villages of Darien, Ga., and Blutfton, and the ravages on the Combahee, arc regarded by Gen. Gillmore as legilimato measures of war, which he will feel authorized to resort to hereafter.
Gen. Gillmore addresses Gen. Beauregard from Morris Island, under date of July lath. He states that, while he and his Government will scrupulously endeavor to conduct the war upon principles established by usage among civilized nations, he shall expect from the commanding general opposed to him full compliance with the same rules, in their unrestricted application to all the forces under his command.
Gen. Beauregard, under the date of July 22d, 1SC3, says he is at a Toss to perceive the necessity for the remark that Gen. Gillmore will expect from him "full compliance with the same rules established by usages of civilized nations, &c, in their unrestricted application to all his forces," inasmuch as he is wholly unaware that any departure from the same has ever been alleged on his part, or by any of his troops, from the established laws and usages between civilized peoples; and then he calls for more specific charges.
In reply to Gen. Beauregard's despatch of the 2Cd ultimo, Gen. Gillmore, on the 5th of August, after noticing the remark of Gen. Beauregard that he was at a loss to perceive the necessity for his statement that he
iGen. G.)«should expect a full compliance on his (Gen. I.'s) part with the same rules, &c, in their unrestricted application to all the forces under his command, states that he considered his remarks ns pertinent and proper at the time, Invents, he adds, since transpired, Bhow them to have been eminently so. In proof he quotes the circumstances of agreement for mutual paroling and returning to their respective commands the wounded prisoners in our hands. "You declined," Gen. Gillmore goes on to say, " to return the wounded ofllccrs^and men belonging to my colored regiments, and your subordinate in charge of the exchange asserted that the question had been left for after consideration." He could but regard this transaction as a palpable breach of faith on Gen. Beauregard's part, nnd a flagrant violation of Gen. B.'s pledges as an officer.
The first works erected by Gen. Gillmore after taking possession of Morris Island, were the construction of parallels. These extended from the boach on the right to the marsh on the left. The first was distant from Fort AVagner one thousand two hundred yards. Tho second, and principal one, was so constructed that'its left was six hundred and seven yards from Wagner, and its right seven hundred and fifty yards. Tho third was four hundred and twentyfive yards from Wagner. Tho parallels wore built in an oblong direction with the length of
the island, having the highest points restingon the marsh. Tho rifle pits forming the foundation of the first parallel were thrown up shortly after the troops gained possession of the lower part of the island. These pits were thrown up in a single night, and used first in the attack on Fort Wagner, on July 18th. The interstices were subsequently filled, and the first parallel constructed. It was two hundred and twentyfive yards. The length of tho second parallel was three hundred and twenty-five yards. The siege guns used for the offensive were mounted in the rear of this parallel. Its distance from Fort Sumter was three thousand three hundred and fifty yards. The third parallel was one hundred yards in length. On the left of the parallels earthworks wero constructed, containing guns of heavy caliber. Their mean distance from Fort Sumter was four thousand one hundred yards. Still farther to the left, on tho marsh, another earthwork was constructed facing Fort Sumter. On this was mounted a gun called "Swamp Angel." The "Marsh " is a vast growth of cane, bordering on Light House Inlet and Morris Island, directly facing James Island, which runs parallel with Morris Island. It is about a mile wide, and borders the island nearly its whole length. At low tide it is dry, but at high water there is about four feet of water over its whole extent. Scows were procured and loaded with bags of sand, and at every tide floated into the marsh, and piled on the selected spot. They sank down in their watery bed and rapidly disappeared, but tho process was still continued with each renewing tide, until an immense bank, towering" six feet above the tops of the cane?, was visible. Strong traverses were erected, and after duo time given for it to settle, tho gun was placed on one of the scows, and floated through the canes at high tide to the site of the battery, where it was moored and soon mounted, the work having all been done at night, it being in full view of Fort Johnson and James Island batteries.
On tho night of August 13th, the Federal works were advanced within four hundred and twenty yards of Wagner, without any suspicion of the enemy. Soon after daylight, a lire was opened from Wagner, Gregg, nnd Sumter, which continued for two hours, and answered with great vigor from the Feilcral batteries. On the 15th all the forts of the enemy from Johnson Island, on the left, to Fort Wagner, on the right, opened fire, and continued it at intervals of fifteen minutes. For the first timefire was opened upon Fort Sumter by the Federal batteries. A 200-pounder Pnrrott was brought to bear on the fort, for the purpose of testing the powder to bo used in these guns. Seven shots were fired, a distance of two and five-eighth miles, the first three fell short, but of tho remaining four, two went directly through the gorge wall, a short distance abovo the sally port, and two struck the parapet, and sent an immense amount of brick and mortar into the ditch and into the fort. The solid shot, which went through, made holes from four to five feet in diameter.
On the morning of August 17th, Gen. Gillmore, having completed his batteries, which numbered about sixty pieces, and obtained the range, his guns opened fire upon Fort Sumter. The fleet consisting of the frigate Ironsides and the Monitors, aided by some wooden gunboats, made an attack, at the same time, upon Forts Gresg and Wagner. The latter was completely fi'.euced, and the former nearly so. The Monitors Passaic and Patapsco then moved nearer to Fort Sumter, and opened fire on it. In the afternoon the fleet retired, except so much as was required to prevent remounting the guns in Fort Wagner. The fire from the batteries upon Fort Sumter continued through tho day and night.
The bombardment of Fort Sumter had now been regularly commenced by Ucn. Gillmore. The following is the daily report by tho enemy of its efl*ect:
Charleston, Thursday, August 20tk.
The firing of the Parrott guns upon Fort Sumter today was exceedingly heavy, tiut not so accurate as heretofore. About noon the flag was shot away, but soon replaced. No casualties are reported. Col. Alfred. Knelt is commanding, and the garrison is stouthearted.
The battery of Parrott guns is distant from Sumter two five-eighth miles. The missiles used are 200-pound bolts, eight inches in diameter, two feet long, with flat heads of chilled iron. Shells of the same dimensions areal?o used.
Up to Wednesday night, the third day of the attack, 1,972 of these missiles struck Sumter, and including to-day '2,'tvii have struck. The damage is of course considerable, and for the last two days all the guns ou the south face of the fort have been disabled.
Yesterday, about four o'clock, the iron-clads formed w line of battle to renew the attack on Sumter, but the fort opened at long range from the cast face, and they retired without attacking. To-day the Ironsides and two Monitors kept up a Are on Wagner at intervals, ind the Yankee sappers have begun to make approaches on that battery from the nearest work. A shot from Wagner disabled one of the Parrott guns, and the James Island batteries, under Lieut. Col. Yates, exploded two of the enemy's ammunition chests.
Charleston, Friday, August list.
The fire of tho enemy's land batteries has been heavier than ever to-day. A new battery of Parrott Suns opened on Sumter this morning, and the fires tare been concentrated upon the cast Dattery and its ?uns. The south wall of the fort is now a pile of rubbish. On the north the wall is also crumbling into a heap of ruins. The flag has been shot away twice to-dav, and six times during the attack. The flagstaff is shot off, and the flag flies from the ruins of the south wall.
Just before sunset Sumter fired several shots at the Ironsides, which was engaging Battery Wagner.
A Monitor this morning tired at Sumter while making a reconnoissance, but was not replied to. There is uo report of casualties.
The sappers arc making a regular approach on Battery Wagner.
Charleston, Saturday, August 22(1.
From 5 o'clock A. M. until 7 o'clock r. M. yesterday, the enemy's fire on Fort Sumter was very heavy. Nine hundred and twenty-three shots were fired, and seven hundred and four struck the fort, either outside or inside. The eastern face of tho fort was badly battered.
Some guns on the cost end and the northeast face were disabled. The flag was allot down four times. Five privates and two negroes were wounded.
The enemy's tire on \\ agtier caused live casualties, including dipt. Kobert Pringle, killed.
At 11 o'clock lust night a communication from the enemy, unsigned, was sent to Gen. Beauregard, demanding the surrender of Sumter and the Morris Island batteries, with a notification that the city would be shelled iu four hours if the demand was not complied with. Gen. Beauregard was on a reconuoissance, and Gen. Jordan returned it for the signature of the writer.
About two o'clock this morning the enemy began throwing shells into the city from a battery on tho marsh between Morris and James Islands, and distant five miles from the city. . Twelve S-inch Parrott shells fell in the city, but caused no casualties. The transaction is regarded as an outrage on civilized warfare. The shelling had a good eflect in hastening the exodus of non-combatants.
At daylight this morning the enemy opened fire vigorously on Sumter. The Ironsides has since opened. Sumter is replying. Wagner is firing briskly on the enemy's advanced works, 450 yards from our battery.
Charleston, August 22<f.
The fire of the enemy's land batteries has been kept up on Fort Sumter, and more guns disabled. Thero was only one casualty.
There was also a heavy fire on Battery Wagner from the fleet and land, ajso on Battery Gregg. The casualties at Wagner were one officer and lour privates.
Gen. Gillmore's demand for the surrender of Fort Sumter and Morris Island, with a threat to shell Charleston in four hours from the delivery of the paper at Wagner, was signed and returned at seven o'clock this morning.
Gen. Beauregard, in his reply, charges inhumanity and violation of the laws of war, and affirms that if the offence be repeated he will employ stringent measures of retaliation.
Up to this time the threat to shell the city has not been executed.
Charleston, Sunday, August 23d.
To-day the land bntteries opened from south to north, and the Monitors from cast to west, coming close up. The fire was very damaging. The east wall was cracked and breached, and the shot swept through the fort. A shell burst, wounding Lieut. Boylston, Col. Rhett, and three other officers.
The fort is now in ruins. Col. Khett is ordered to hold this outpost even as a forlorn hope, until relieved or taken. Col. Gaillard was killed.
Gen. Gillmore sent a communication at 11 o'clock, giving notice that at 11 o'clock to-morrow he would open fire on Charleston.
Charleston, Monday, August 2Wi. The enemy's fire on Sumter slackened today. The fleet has not participated. At 12 o'clock last night the enemy's guns opened fire on the city, firing fifteen 8-inch Parrott shells. No casualties resulted. Non-combatants arc leaving the city in continuous streams.
On the 24th of August, Gen. Gillmore sent the following despatches to Washington:
Headquarters Department or The South, I
To Mnj.-Gen. II. W. IMhcJc, Gentral-in-Chitf:
Sir: I have the honor to report the practical demolition of Fort Sumter as the result of our seven duvs* bombardment of the work, including two days of which a powerful northeasterly storm most seriously diminished the accuracy of our fire.
Fort Sumter is to-dur a shapeless and harmless mass of ruins. My chief of artillery, Col. J. W. Turner, reports its destruction so far complete, that it is no longer of any "avail iu the defence of Charleston." He also says that " by a longer fire it could be made more completely a ruin and a mass of broken masonry, but could scarcely be made more powerless for the defence of the harbor."
My breaching batteries were located at distances ranging between 3,3120 and 4,240 yards from the works, and now remain as efficient as over. I deem it unnecessary, at present, to continue the fire upon the ruins of Fort Sumter.
I have also, under a heavy fire from James Island, established batteries on my left, within effective range of the heart of Charleston city, and have opened with them, after giving Gen. Beauregard due notice of my intention to do so.
My notification to Gen. Beauregard, his reply thereto, with the threat of retaliation, and my rejoinder, have been transmitted to the army headquarters.
The projectiles from my batteries entered the city, and Gen. Beauregard himself designates them as the "most destructive missiles ever used in war."
The report of my cliief of artillery, and an accurate sketch of the rains of Fort Sumter, taken at IS H. yesterday, six hours before we ceased firing, are herewith transmitted.
Very respectfully, yourobedient servant,
Q. A. GILLMORE, Brigadier-General Commanding. Office Of Chief Of Artillery, Department Of ) The Soutu, MfMUUB Ibland, 3 C. V August-lad, 1S63. ) Brig.• Gen, Q. A. Gillmore, Commanding Department of the South, Morris Island, S. C.:
General: I have the honor to Amort the effect that our breaching batteries have had upon Fort Sumter, and the condition of that work to-night, at the close of the seven days' bombardment.
Tin- gorge wall of the fort is almost a complete mass of ruins. For the distance of several casemates about midway of this face the ramparts are removed nearly, and in places quite to the arches, aud but for the sand bags, with which the casemates were filled, aud which have served to sustain the broken arches and masses of masonry, it would have long since been entirely cut away, and with it the arches to the floor of the second tier of casemates. The debris on this point now forms a ramp reaching as high as the floor of the casemates.
The parapet wall of the two northeasterly faces is completely carried away, a small portion only being left in the angle made with the gorge wall, and the ramparts of these faces are also a total ruin. Quite one half of our projectiles seem to have struck the parade and parapet of these two faces, and judging from the eft'ect they have had upon the gorge wall within our observation, the destruction of masonry on these two sides must he very great, and I am of opinion that nearly every arch in these fronts must be broken in. Uut one gun remains in position on these two fronts. This is in the angle of the gorge, and I think unserviceable.
The ruin extends around, taking in the northeasterly face as far as can be seen. A coition of this face adjoining the angle it makes with the southeasterly face is concealed, but from the great number of missiles which have struck in this angle during the last two days, it cannot be otherwise than greatly damaged, and I do not think any guns can be left on this face in a serviceable condition.
The ramparts on this angle, as well as in the southeasterly face, must be ploughed np aud greatly shattered; the parapet on this latter face being torn offia many places, as we can sec, and I hardly thiuk the platforms of the three remaining guns on this face could have escaped.
With the assistance of a powerful glass, I cannot determine that more than one of these guns can be used. The carriages of the others are evidently more or less shattered, aud such is the ruin of the parapet and parade in the immediate vicinity of this gun that it probably could not be served for any length of time.
'In fine, the destruction of the fort is so far complete that it is to-day of no avail in the defence of the harbor of Charleston; by a longer fire it can bo made more completely a ruin and a mass of broken masonry, but could scarcely be more powerless for the defence of the harbor.
I therefore respectfully submit my opinion that a continuance of our fire is no longer necessary, as giving us no ends adequate for the consumption of our resources.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant.
JOHN W. TURNER, Colonel and Chief of Artillery.
The correspondence) mentioned in the preceding despatch commenced on the 21st. On that day Gen. Gillmore addressed the following note to Gen. Beauregard:
Headquarters Department Of Ttie Softit, 1 Morris Island. S. C, August 2lst, 1 $63. J To Gen. G. T. Beauregard, Commanding Confederate Forces, Charleston, 8. C.: General: I have the honor to demand of yon the immediate evacuation of Morris Island and Fort Sumter by the Confederate forces. The present condition of Fort Sumter, and the rapid and progressive destruc
tion which it is undergoing from my batteries, seem to render its complete" demolition within a few hours a matter of certainty. All my heaviest guns have not yet opened.
Should you refuse compliance with this demand. or should I receive no reply thereto within four hours after it is delivered into the hands of your subordinate at Fort Wagner for transmission, I shall open fire on the city of Charleston from batteries already established within easy and effective range of the heart of the city.
I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Q. A. GILLMORE, Brig.-Geu. Commanding.