Captain S. H. Gray
, commanding two companies of the Seventh Connecticut regiment, in the landing upon Morris Island
, on the ninth of July, 1868, gives the following account:
Early on the ninth we received orders to be ready by sundown for a fresh start.
To prevent any mistake in the night, each officer and man had on his left arm a white badge three inches wide.
General Strong was to embark two thousand men in boats, and take them up Folly River in the Lighthouse Inlet; and at sunrise the batteries that had been erected (there were over forty guns and mortars in position) were to open, and the gunboats to engage the batteries on the opposite side of the island.
The boats arrived with the troops in good time, preceded by eight boat-howitzers from the gunboats; the first boat contained General Strong and staff, and then came the battalion of the Seventh Connecticut volunteers.
General Gillmore told Colonel Rodman that the General had concluded that our battalion was the most reliable, and could be trusted, and was selected for that reason.
The batteries opened at daylight, and in a short time the enemy discovered the boats, and threw shell and solid shot, trying to sink them.
The shot and shell struck and burst all around us, but only one boat was struck, containing some of the Sixth Connecticut volunteers, killing one, and wounding two or three.
The General's boat got two discharges of grape.
Just at this moment, Lieutenant-Colonel Rodman said to the General: “ Let me land my command and take that battery.”
The General hesitated, at first, and then said: “Go!”
Colonel Rodman stood up in the stern of his boat, and gave the command — as the boats were all in line and in good order--“ Seventh Connecticut man your oars and follow me.”
We had previously detailed fifty men as oarsmen, leaving us about one hundred and seventy-five effective men and officers.
At the order, we all headed for the shore; and, as the boats struck, every man sprang as if by instinct, and in an instant the men were in line.
We advanced rapidly to the first line of rifle-works; our skirmishers cleared it, with a bound, and advanced to the second line.
Our main forces moved to the first line; the foe retired, firing.
Lieutenant-Colonel Rodman now sent word back for the General to land his whole force, as we could hold the line we occupied.
After exchanging a few shots, and the brigade being landed and ready to advance, the enemy began to give way. Lieutenant Jordan, with a detachment of company I, pushed right up into their batteries on our right, and not finding the first gun in working order — it having been disabled by a shot — he pushed forward to what is now called Battery Rodman, in which there was an eight-inch sea-coast howitzer, and turned it on the retreating foe, bursting several shells over their heads before they reached Fort Wagner.
Our forces captured eight single-gun batteries and three mortars, and not far from two hundred prisoners.