as vigorously as possible.
The garrison was harassed day and night.
To prevent them repairing damages at night a powerful calcium light was turned upon the ramparts, which made them as light as day — thus blinding the enemy, while it enabled our men to see what was going on. Our sharpshooters were so numerous and so close to the fort, that the enemy were kept from their guns.
Our trenches were widened and deepened to hold the troops for the assault, and the light mortars were taken forward and mounted on the advanced parallels.
The final bombardment was opened on the fort on the morning of the 5th of September, and continued more than forty hours without cessation.
At the same time the iron-clad frigate “New Ironsides” moved up within a thousand yards, and opened upon it with her heavy broadsides.
The air was filled with shells bursting in and over the fort, which drove every living thing from sight.
The garrison was compelled to seek shelter beneath their impenetrable bomb-proofs.
The island and the sea fairly trembled under the discharge of artillery.
At night the spectacle was grand, for the heavens seemed alive with the fiery projectiles as they flew to their destination.
During the last thirty-six hours of the bombardment the admitted loss of the enemy was one hundred and twenty-five, in spite of all their means of protection.
At eight o'clock on the evening of the 6th of September the commander of the troops selected for the assault of the next morning met General Gillmore
The troops chosen consisted of two brigades and two regiments.
The two regiments were to assail the sea bastion from the trenches, spike the guns that swept the beach, and secure the entrance to the bomb-proofs.
The two brigades were to pass the sea bastions, and, while one was to assault the fort in the rear, the other was to form across the island, to prevent reinforcements coming down.
The troops were to be concealed in the trenches; the signal of the attack was to be the raising of the American
flag on the surf battery, when they were to rush out by the nearest parallel to the assault.
The batteries were to continue their fire to the latest moment.
Our final instructions arrived at midnight, and each regimental and brigade commander was furnished with a drawing of the fort.
The troops were to be under arms at half-past 1 o'clock, so as to take their place in the trenches before daylight.
The hour of assault was fixed at nine o'clock A. M. Brigadier General Terry
was placed in command of the troops, and had charge of the assault.
The night was an anxious one to all who were to participate in the work of the morrow.
Many important, but unpleasant, offices