previous next

[548] before daylight; also, nearest other regiment or battalion — Graham's or Nelson's, as most expeditiously moved. Cannot navy help with transportation?

Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

I advise you (without seeing General Beauregard) to embark Keitt's regiment at once, and throw it on Morris Island. I will see him.

Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

Detailed telegram of events at Battery Wagner wanted from General Taliaferro. Reinforcements on way to push advantage, if possible.

Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

What has Harrison's regiment effected? Troops thrown on Morris Island at once might strike an effective blow. Detailed report from Battery Wagner wanted up to latest moment.

Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

headquarters Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, Charleston, S. C., July 24, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel D. B. Harris, Chief Engineer, Morris Island:
Colonel: Examine condition for resistance of Battery Wagner and report in person, as soon as possible. Explain to General Taliaferro that he must fight the fleet with sand; that the battery originally was only meant to defend against land approach. The battery must be held as long as possible — even twenty-four hours are important.

Respectfully, &c.,

G. T. Beauregard, General, commanding.

headquarters Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, Charleston, S. C., July 24, 1863.
Brigadier-General W. B. Taliaferro, Morris Island:
General: The batteries designed to render Batteries Wagner and Gregg untenable by the enemy, if reduced, not being completed, it has become exigent that those last batteries should be held to the last extremity. Wagner, being under the guns of Sumter and Gregg, should be held by infantry and siege guns alone, until its parapets and bomb-proofs are destroyed and no longer afford shelter against artillery. The General regards it almost improbable that another assault will be attempted. Furthermore, the evacuation of Wagner does not necessarily involve immediate abandonment of Gregg, which, with reduced garrison and sharpshooters filling the sand-hills between it and Wagner, may be held for several days longer. When obliged to quit either work, the guns must be thoroughly disabled by spiking, knocking off trunnions, cutting and burning carriages, and bomb-proofs, and by blowing up the magazines and parapets. In view of the great improbability of an assault, may it not be well to reduce the garrison minimum to-morrow morning, just about two o'clock?

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

Report of the evacuation of Morris Island, with endorsed remarks of the commanding General.

Charleston, September 7, 1863.
Captain William F. Nance, A. A. G., First Military District, Dept. S. C., Ga., and Fla.:
Captain: I have the honor to make the following report of the evacuation of Morris Island, including Batteries Wagner and Gregg, by the troops under my command, on the night of the sixth instant. This step was authorized by a dispatch sent by signals from district headquarters, and received by me between four and five P. M., and directed in detail, by a special order from department headquarters, which was received from Captain McCabe, of General Ripley's staff, at dark, and was necessitated from the untenable condition of Battery Wagner, the greatly exhausted condition of the garrison, and constant artillery and sharpshooting fire of the enemy, which prevented repairs.

The gradual approaches of the enemy had passed the front of the battery, and the termination of their sap was not over fifty yards from the parapets of the sea-face, enabling them to throw a mass of troops upon this flank, when our men were mostly in the bomb-proofs, where I was forced to keep them by the unceasing fire of mortar and rifle guns on land, with an enfilading fire from the fleet, during most of the day. The salient on the left of the battery, had been swept by such a terrible cross-fire as to breach the parapet and throw it into irregular shapes, rendering the ascent from the moat easy, and, moreover, men could not be kept there during the cross-fire, without the certainty of most of them being wounded or stunned. This salient is the part of the work gained by the enemy, in the assault of the eighteenth of July.

As soon as the evacuation was authorized, I gave detailed instructions to the regimental commanders, viz.: Lieutenant-Colonel John G. Pressly, commanding Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers; Major James Gardner, commanding Twenty-seventh Georgia volunteers; Captain W. P. Crawford, commanding Twenty-eighth Georgia volunteers, for the gradual movement of their men to Cummins' Point, so as to keep up an effective front to the enemy, and insure silence and promptness. They expressed their hearty approval, believing an evacuation necessary, to prevent a useless sacrifice of men.

Creative Commons License
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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 19th, 1863 AD (3)
July 24th, 1863 AD (2)
September 7th, 1863 AD (1)
July 18th (1)
6th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: