him mounting a Confederate horse, without saddle, and barefooted, and join in the pursuit of the foe. His patriotism received the double baptism of fire and water.
The reveille had just sounded in the enemy's camp, and they had turned out for roll-call, when our shot and shell went tearing through their ranks.
Officers and men were killed before they had time to dress.
The iron-clads crossed the bar at daylight, and after we had effected a landing, they moved up and rolled their ponderous shells over the island.
At the Beacon House
our troops came within reach of the guns of Wagner
, when a halt was made, and some intrenchments thrown up. The day was intensely hot, and the troops were completely prostrated.
Our loss was small.
Thus had General Gillmore
redeemed his first pledge.
At this period in the operations a fatal mistake was made.
should have been immediately assailed, and would then have fallen into our hands without much opposition.
The assault was delayed until the next day, when we were repulsed with considerable loss.
While these operations were going on, a division of troops was sent over to James Island
to engage the enemy's attention in that direction, where a spirited action was fought on the 16th of July, in which the Federal
forces were victorious.
The failure of the attack on the 11th satisfied General Gillmore
that siege operations must be commenced against Wagner
Ground was broken on the night of the 13th, and the work was pushed with such vigor that the first parallel, at the distance of thirteen hundred and fifty yards, was completed on the 17th.
It mounted twenty-five rifled guns and mortars.
An assault was arranged for twilight the next evening, and two additional brigades were added to our forces.
During the day our batteries, in conjunction with the navy, kept up a warm cannonade on the fort, and by 4 P. M. the enemy's guns were silenced.
The troops chosen for the assault were the brigades of Seymour
, Strong and Putnam
, the whole under the command of General Seymour
They moved up the beach about sundown, and advanced upon the work in deployed lines.
At the distance of nearly a mile, the enemy opened upon them with shot and shell, which they changed to grape, canister and musketry at closer range.
The troops steadily advanced in spite of this iron and leaden hail, with scores of men falling, killed and wounded, at every step.
A portion of them reached the ditch and. mounted the parapet, and seized and held that part of the work near the salient for some time, but, after a fierce struggle for the mastery, were compelled to retire, leaving the killed and wounded in the hands of the enemy.
The assault was bravely made, and the repulse bloody.
Our loss footed