This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 （Col. Rust.) These men were utterly ignorant of their duties, knew not even the names of the different parts of the pieces, but they went to work, were drilled under fire, and in twenty minutes were able to serve their guns with more than tolerable accuracy, and did some of the most effective service during that day. This same regiment lay not more than half a mile in the rear of battery Halleck for more than half of the entire engagement, covered only by some brushwood, but perfectly content with their exposed position, because they were told that it might prove eminently an important one. Early on the second day, especial attention was directed toward the breach; every gun that could be brought to bear upon the pancoupe was trained that way, and the aperture began soon to show the effects. In an hour or two, it became large enough for two men to enter abreast, and the nearest embrasure on its left was also considerably enlarged. Meanwhile, all the other effects of the day before were enhanced; shots struck all over the two exposed faces of the Fort; the two mortar-batteries on the shore of Cockspur Island were silenced, and several of the casemate guns were struck, through the embrasures. A man was hurt in battery Scott, on this morning, by a shell, which fell almost vertically into the battery, and exploded, striking the poor fellow in the head, side, and leg, horribly wounding him, and burying another with fragments of the revetment. The wounded man soon afterward died; the other was unhurt. This was the only casualty of the action on our side, except that a lieutenant received a slight blow in the jaw. The battery put up by Gen. Viele, on Long Island, opened fire this morning, and was sufficiently vigorous in its compliments to merit and receive repeated replies, and affording good service by the destruction it occasioned. The gunboat Norwich, lying somewhere on the right of the Fort, in the direction of the sunken hulk of which I have previously spoken, also became engaged — the distance must, however, have been too great for her to have rendered any special assistance; still she, too, got an occasional answer from the garrison. On this day clouds of red dust were seen to rise more frequently from the Fort, indicating that the brickwork of which it is constructed was hit, and after a while the great breach became so large that the propriety of a storming party was discussed. The lower part of the aperture was partly filled by the debris that fell from above; the arch of the casemate was not only laid bare, but evidently shaken, and a gun in barbette, immediately over the breach, was tottering and ready to tumble below. The breach by its side was also momently becoming wider, and just as Gen. Benham was questioning whether a messenger should not be sent to demand even the surrender before risking so great a loss of human life as must have been incurred in an assault, the rebel flag on old Pulaski was lowered half-way, and a final gun fired from a casemate in the Fort. As the flag was not completely hauled down, uncertainty was felt on our side for a moment, but all firing ordered at once to cease. In a moment more the white flag was raised, and amid cheer after cheer, all along the batteries on Tybee, down came the stars and bars. It was the eleventh of April, a year to a day from that time when the Stars and Stripes were first dishonored by Americans. General Hunter was aboard the McClellan, with his aids, watching the engagement. Gens. Benham and Gilmore were ashore, and rode rapidly out to Goat's Point. It was some moments before we could believe that the Fort had really struck its colors, and that what we had been hoping for and laboring for, and fighting for so long, was actually accomplished. Those who had known of these endeavors from the start shook hands, and as General Gilmore rode along the men cheered him lustily. They knew how much of the credit of this result was due to him. Immediately upon arriving at Goat's Point, Gen. Gilmore, with his Aids, Capt. Adam Badeau and Col. Rust, entered a boat and put off for the Fort. Their passage was rough; the way had never been travelled before by Union sailors since our arrival; the channel was unknown, and the skiff got aground. The heavy sea struck her, and she nearly swamped, but the crew rowed hard, and the Aid and the Colonel bailed out the water with their hats, and, soaking with the salt tides of the Savannah, the party landed on Cockspur Island. A long wooden causeway extends over the marsh perhaps a quarter of a mile, up to the Fort. Badeau was sent in advance, bearing a white flag, to meet the rebel officer who was approaching. This proved to be Capt. Sims, of the Georgia Volunteers, and lately editor of the Savannah Republican. He apologized for the delay, and said he had supposed that the Union party was to land at another wharf; he was taken up to Gen. Gilmore, introduced, and then led the party back to the Fort. At the entrance stood Colonel Olmstead, the commandant. He showed the way to his own quarters, having previously requested that several National officers who were approaching, might, as a matter of courtesy, be desired to remain outside until the preliminaries were adjusted. This was accorded him, and an interview of an hour took place, at which only himself and General Gilmore were present. The terms of the capitulation having been settled, Gen. Gilmore was shown over the Fort by the Colonel, and then took his leave, accompanied by Col. Rust. Messengers from Gen. Hunter had meantime arrived. These, together with Gen. Gilmore's Aid, made the rounds of the Fort under the escort of Col. Olmstead, who introduced us to his officers, and were the only persons present when the swords were delivered. Major Halpine, as the representative of General Hunter, received the weapons. The ceremony was performed in the Colonel's headquarters, all standing. It was just at dark, and the candles gave only a half-light; the weapons were laid on a table, each officer advancing in turn, according to his rank, and mentioning his name and title;
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.