, crowned with Confederate guns.
From where he stood Sumter
was in plain view.
He saw everything with the eye of a practical engineer, and decided at a glance where to erect his batteries, and the use he would make of them.
Necessity compelled their erection within a few hundred yards of a vigilant enemy; discovery would defeat the enterprise.
The engineers were immediately set to work, and a dense thicket served to conceal our operations.
The laborers, materials, guns, and, in fact, everything used in constructing the batteries, were taken to the front at night.
The greater part of the work was done under fire, for the enemy suspected we had a force at the head of the island, and they shelled it continually.
Troops were landed under cover of the darkness, and before the morning dawned they were concealed in the timber and bushes, and the transports that brought them were sent to sea again.
The island was carefully picketed to prevent the enemy's spies landing to discover what we were doing.
In twenty days the batteries were finished, mounting forty-eight guns and mortars, with all the appliances of bomb-proofs, magazines, etc., and each piece supplied with two hundred rounds of ammunition.
So well had all our movements been concealed from the enemy that he did not dream of the existence of our batteries until they opened fire upon him. The assault was made on Morris Island
the morning of the 10th of July.
It was a combined attack by infantry in boats, consisting of General Strong
's Brigade, and a heavy cannonade from our batteries.
The infantry embarked during the night of the 9th, on Folly river
, and at daylight in the morning lay in Light House Inlet, off the southwestern point of the island.
General Truman B. Seymour
came into the batteries just before daylight, impatient for the bombardment to open.
The night before, the brush in front of the batteries had been cut away, and the embrasures opened.
asked the officer in command of the three thirty-pounder Parrotts on the right if he could see a certain gun of the enemy mounted among the sand-hills distinctly enough to take aim at it On the officer replying in the negative the General
called a party of engineers to shovel the sand away from the embrasure.
Day broke before they had finished, and the General
remarking, “It will never do to let them get the first fire,” called in the engineers, and directed the officer to “blaze away.”
Immediately the quiet of the morning was broken by the roar of artillery.
The infantry moved up about the same time, and in a little while effected a landing, and carried the enemy's rifle-pits.
, in his anxiety to land, stepped overboard in seven feet of water; but this mishap did not prevent