The siege of Morris Island
has passed into history.
The wearisome day and nights in the trenches, with shovel and rifle, under the plunging fire of the enemy's batteries, and the repeated assaults of almost impregnable earthworks, are numbered among the past events of our late wonderful war. Morris Island
is a sandy waif of the sea, lying on the west side of the outer harbor of Charleston
, and stretching three miles from north to south.
It varies in width from two or three hundred yards to a few feet at the narrowest part.
A ridge of sand-hills run parallel with the beach, just out of reach of the tidal-line on the east; while on the west it slopes into marshes, two miles wide and intersected by a labyrinth of water-courses, which separates it from James Island
At a few points the tide breaks entirely across it. It is an island of fine white sand.
A watchful enemy had carefully guarded this approach to Charleston
, where the late rebellion had its birth.
A strong earthwork, known as Battery Gregg, had been erected on Cumming's Point
, at the north end of the island, mounting four ten-inch columbiads and one ten-inch mortar.
This battery had been used in the siege of Fort Sumter
, in April, 1861; but the work had been altered and strengthened, and some of its guns now pointed down the island.
About the narrowest part of the island, where Vincent
's creek approaches the sea, was erected Battery Wagner, on which were mounted sixteen guns and mortars, most of them of heavy calibre.
This was one of the strongest earthworks ever built, and gave evidence of the highest order of engineering ability.
The bomb-proof would