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[549] The men went down as if for special duty, and though the most intelligent knew the fact, nearly all went off as if going to be relieved.

Captain Huguenin, Chief of Artillery, was promptly notified of the steps to be taken, and made his arrangements with my sanction, for the removal of the artillery, and the written orders, when received, were submitted to him for his guidance. He was intrusted with the delicate duty of bringing up the extreme rear, and firing the only magazine which contained powder--Lieutenant Mazyck, Ordnance Officer, being ordered to assist him. His report, with Lieutenant Mazyck's, is inclosed, marked A, and is referred to as an important portion of this report.

At dark I sent to Captain H. R. Lesesne, who was commanding Battery Gregg, an order to prepare to blow up his magazine, and render his guns unserviceable, directing him to confer with Captain F. D. Lee, of the engineers, who had read the orders. I had no copy of the detailed order, which came late, to give him, which was thus not communicated to him. I refer you to his report marked B, for particulars.

To anticipate the possibility of a pursuit by the enemy while retreating from Wagner, I ordered Lieutenant Robert M. Stiles, Chief Engineer at Battery Gregg, to construct a rifle-pit across the island, at a narrow point, about a quarter of a mile in advance of Battery Gregg; this was accomplished by him after dark, while under mortar fire, with a force of seventy-seven negroes in charge. He also cut away most of the earth-covering of the magazine on the side towards our James Island batteries, then sent his negroes off to Fort Johnson, using a large flat left at Cummins' Point for that purpose.

Owing to the necessity of protecting the already reduced garrison, I had, early on the morning of the sixth instant, made the following disposition of my troops: The Seventy-seventh Georgia regiment, effective total one hundred and seventy-five men, commanded by Major Gardner, a gallant and intelligent officer, were in the sand hills, well protected in pits dug there, the hillocks being natural traverses. Fifty men of the Twenty-eighth Georgia, under Captain Adams, who had picketed the beach during the night, were also there; the remainder of the regiment, numbering one hundred and thirty effectives, were assigned to the extreme right of Battery Wagner; about forty-five kept out on the lines, and the remainder in the bomb-proof. The Twenty-fifth South Carolina (Eutaw) regiment, which had been terribly reduced by casualties and sickness, during the day and night preceding, to an effective total of about three hundred and sixty-five men, manned the left and centre of the battery, keeping only a guard of each company on its respective position of the lines, the remainder in the bomb-proof. Two companies of this regiment were sent to the sand hills for protection, and to make room in the bomb-proof, where several men had fainted on the fifth, from excessive heat and foul air. Major Gardner was ordered to cover the retreat with the Twenty-seventh Georgia, in case of pursuit by the enemy; in the meantime to picket the beach at dark, and hold his reserve in readiness to support Battery Wagner.

At early dark I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Pressly, commanding Twenty-fifth South Carolina, a very intelligent and reliable officer, to detail four companies (about one hundred men) to take a field-piece from the left curtain to Cummins' Point, and embark on the first boat. Half an hour after, Captain Crawford, commanding Twenty-seventh Georgia volunteers, was ordered to move a howitzer from the right of Wagner, to the rifle-pit near Gregg, place the piece in position there, collect his regiment from line of battle in rifle-pits, and when notified that transportation was ready to send a company at a time to embark. Major Gardner was ordered to man the rifle-pits when Captain Crawford had left. Lieutenant-Colonel Pressly was ordered to extend his lines and cover the line manned by the Twenty-eighth Georgia, as soon as that regiment started, which was promptly done by him.

I will here remark, that all this night, as on the previous night, the enemy threw a strong calcium light on the front of Battery Wagner. About nine o'clock P. M., being informed that transportation was ready, the embarkation commenced, and went on briskly and quietly until all had been embarked except the rear guard, which was commanded by Captain T. A. Huguenin, numbering thirty-five men--twenty-five men of the First South Carolina infantry, Company A, ten men of the Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers, under command of Lieutenants Brown and Taft.

At about eleven o'clock P. M., I turned over the command of Battery Wagner to Captain Huguenin, and ordering my Adjutant-General, Major H. Bryan (a member of General Beauregard's staff), who had volunteered for special duty on Morris Island, to accompany me, I proceeded towards Cummins' Point. At the riflepits I received information that more transportation was ready, and I immediately ordered Major Gardner to embark his regiment, and to take with him the twelve-pounder howitzer; which he did, but could not bring it off the island.

The transportation, under the direction of Major M. A. Pringle, Post Quartermaster in Charleston, was admirably managed. Lieutenant-Colonel Dantzler, Twentieth South Carolina volunteers, having been specially detailed by General Ripley to superintend the transportation, under his spirited and excellent management, it succeeded perfectly. When the infantry were all embarked, I directed Captain Kanapaux, commanding light artillery, to spike his three howitzers, and embark his command. Captain Lesesne was then ordered to spike the guns of Battery Gregg, and embark his men. The rear guard from Wagner coming up at this time, were embarked. I had ordered Captain Huguenin down, sending word by private John A.

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