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[481] masking all the guns in the work, save those on this flank, and removing a row of long pikes which had been planted at the foot of the counterscarp as an impediment to assault.

Gen. Gillmore directed Gen. Terry to assault in three columns at 9 A. M.;1 that being the hour of ebb tide, which gave the broadest beach whereon to advance the assaulting columns; but, by midnight, it was discovered that the garrison were escaping; and with such celerity did they move that we took but 70 prisoners. They left 18 guns in Wagner and 7 in Battery Gregg.

Though 122,300 pounds of metal had been hurled at it at short range from breaching guns-none of them less than a 100-pounder — within the last two days, the bomb-proof of the former was found substantially intact, and capable of sheltering 1,500 men. Sand was fully proved to possess a power of protracted resistance to the power of heavy ordnance far surpassing that of brick or stone.

During the night of the 8th, a flotilla of 25 to 30 row-boats, from Admiral Dahlgren's fleet, led by Com'r Stephens of the Patapsco, attempted to carry Fort Sumter by assault, whereof no notice was given to, and of course no cooperation invited from, Gen. Gillmore. The boats, having been towed nearly to the fort, were cast off and made their way to the ragged walls of the old, inveterate obstacle to our progress, whereon the crews of three of them, led by Com'r Williams, Lt Remey, and Ensign Porter, debarked, and attempted to clamber up the ruins to the parapet; but found the slope far steeper and its ascent more difficult than they appeared when viewed from a distance through a field-glass. The garrison, under Maj. S. Elliot, proved exceedingly wide awake, and at once commenced firing and throwing hand-grenades; while, at a signal given by them, the Rebel batteries on every side but the offing opened a terrific fire, whereby our three boats were soon torn to pieces, and those they had borne to the fort — some 200 in number — either killed, wounded, or compelled to surrender. The killed and wounded were about 80; while 121 were taken prisoners. The residue of the expedition drew off unhurt. No life was lost on the side of the defense.

Gen. Gillmore's “Swamp Angel” had rather alarmed than injured the Charlestonians — no person having been harmed by its fire, though several shells had reached and exploded in the lower part of their city, and one had entered a warehouse, and exploding there, done considerable damage to its walls and contents. The “Swamp Angel,” being fired at a considerable elevation, with a charge of 16 pounds of powder, impelling a projectile weighing 150 pounds, burst at its 36th discharge. But now Fort Wagner and Battery Gregg were transformed and strengthened, while other works were erected on that end of the island, armed with mortars and heavy rifled guns, a full mile nearer to Charleston than the “Marsh battery,” and of course far more effective for the bombardment of that city, a full half of which was henceforth under fire, and

1 Sept. 7.

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