till he had 47 guns in battery within speaking distance of the Rebel
pickets, with 200 rounds of ammunition and all necessary appliances for each — the Rebel
batteries right in his front being intent on destroying a blockade-runner which had been chased aground by our cruisers just south of the entrance to Lighthouse inlet
's division, 4,000 strong, and Gen. Strong
's brigade of 2,500, were quietly transferred to Folly island
, under the cover of darkness, and kept out of sight, while Vogdes
made a great parade of strengthening his defenses as though he apprehended an attack.
At length, all being ready, Gen. Terry
, with 3,800 men, was conveyed1
up the Stono
, and menaced the Rebel
works on the south end of James island
; while 2,000 men, under Gen. Strong
, were silently embarked2
on small boats in Folly river
, and rowed stealthily to the junction of Lighthouse inlet
; where they were halted, behind a screen of marsh-grass, while Vogdes
's batteries on the north end of Folly island
broke, at daylight,3
the slumbers of the unsuspecting foe. Dahlgren
's iron-clads, Catskill
, and Weehawken
, forthwith opened a cross-fire, which they maintained throughout the day; addressing their civilities for the most part to the tranquilizing of Fort Wagner
After two hours cannonade, Gen. Strong
threw his men ashore, disregarding a hot fire of Rebel artillery and musketry, and, by 9 A. M., we had carried all the enemy's batteries on the south end of Morris island
, and held three-fourths of that island firmly, with our skirmishers pushed up to within musket-shot of Fort Wagner
The intense heat and the exhaustion of our soldiers, who had been under arms all night, here arrested operations for the day. Eleven heavy guns, with much camp equipage, were the main trophies of our success.
Next morning, at 5, Gen. Strong
led his men to an assault on Fort Wagner
, whereof they reached the parapet; but were here met by so withering a fire that they recoiled, with but moderate loss.
Thus far, our casualties on this island were 150; those of the Rebels
were officially reported by Beauregard
Convinced by this failure that the fortress was very much stronger than it had been supposed, and could only be taken by regular approaches, Gillmore
now sat down before it, in full view of the fact that the enemy could concentrate here at any time a force far larger than that which assailed them.
But the narrowness of the island, while it constrained the besiegers to work directly and constantly under the fire of the fort, precluded flanking sallies, and rendered an accumulation here of force by the enemy of little practical account.
And, beside, every offensive movement on their part must be made under the enfilading fire of our gun-boats; which constantly aided to shield our working parties from a fusillade that, destructive at best, would else have been insupportable.
, on James island
, was attacked at daybreak4
by a more numerous Rebel force of Georgians, just arrived from Virginia
, who, expecting to surprise him, advanced rapidly, driving in the 54th