Stewart, “Gist guards,” the cavalry couriers having left without permission. There was no light kept at Gregg, so I could not well note the hour. With two or three boats, I now anxiously waited for Captain Huguenin's party. Finally, perceiving that the enemy's barges, from Vincent Creek, were attacking our boats with musketry, I ordered the safety-fuse to the magazine of Battery Gregg to be lighted. It was lit; the firing then ceased. As I desired the explosions at both batteries to be simultaneous, as ordered, I ordered Captain Lesesne to extinguish the fuse, intending to relight it or apply another fuse, when Captains Huguenin and Pinckney, and Lieutenant Mazyck, who were the only persons who had not yet come to the point, arrived. Major Holcombe, who had lighted the fuse, immediately attempted to extinguish it. He informed me from the parapet of the battery that it would be difficult to cut it in twain, and that it was burning brightly. At that moment, the absent party arrived, and I directed him not to interfere with the fuse, which was then burning brightly. About half-past 1 A. M., with the rear guard of my command I embarked, thus successfully withdrawing from Morris Island, and my responsibility ended. As we started off, the Yankee barges directed their musketry fire upon us, causing the bullets to whiz around us, but doing no harm. Bearing towards Fort Sumter, I proceeded to flagsteamer Charleston, and notified Captain Tucker that the evacuation af Morris Island was accomplished, and requesting him to give the rocket signal to our batteries. I then proceeded to district headquarters, and repeated the information, arriving at three A. M. on the seventh. During the day and evening of the sixth, Captain Adger, the efficient Quartermaster, kept his only wagon moving the wounded from Wagner to Gregg, under the direction of Chief Surgeon William C. Ravenel. Strange to say, none were hurt by the enemy's fire, which, from time to time, swept across the way. Of course, the wounded were embarked first. Dr. Ravenel performed his arduous duties with alacrity and zeal, showing every kindness to the wounded and stunned, which poured in from sunrise on the fifth, till the evening of the sixth. He left about half-past 10, leading his ambulance corps. I am happy to state that the majority of the wounds were slight, though disabling the men for the time. The guns in the batteries were spiked, and the implements generally destroyed, equipments mostly carried off. The magazines were not blown up, owing to the faulty character of the safety-fuses used for the purpose, which were ignited — that at Battery Wagner by Captain Huguenin, assisted by Captain Pinckney, District Ordnance Officer, and that at Battery Gregg by Major Holcombe, under Captain Lesesne's instructions, and the supervision of Captain F. D. Lee, and Lieutenant Stiles, of the engineers. The enemy were within thirty steps of the front of Battery Wagner, the voices of their sappers could be distinctly heard; any attempt to break off the trunnion, or shatter the carriage of a gun, could have been distinctly heard, and our movements discovered; besides the gun-chambers had been filled with loose sand, displaced by the enemy's shot. The guns could not be managed. I attempted to move the sand, but my working parties were broken up as soon as put to work. The enemy had planted heavy mortars, within one hundred yards of the battery, and they could and did throw their shells into any designated spot. They could hear the movement of a party at work along the line, and would kill, wound, or disperse the men. Property had to be destroyed within thirty steps of the enemy; and while they could hear the voices of our men in this close proximity to them, the whole garrison had to be removed. Their sand batteries and fleet swept every inch of ground between Batteries Wagner and Gregg, and any suspicion of our movements compromised, if it did not destroy, the safety of the garrison. All the guns were effectually spiked. At Battery Gregg, everything was destroyed but the two ten-inch guns; they were prepared for bursting when the last party embarked. Before this party arrived, the enemy's barges fired upon ours, transporting our troops, and also turned their fire upon us. An attempt had been made by the enemy the preceding night, in barges, to assail and capture Battery Gregg; the number of their barges there, in easy range, could not be ascertained. I was informed by the engineer, Captain Lee, that the explosion of the magazine would destroy the guns; the fuse was lighted, burning well, and no doubt was entertained of its igniting the magazine. The rear guard from Battery Wagner had embarked under fire from the enemy's barges. These barges, I am convinced, gave the enemy the information of the withdrawal of our garrison. The guns of Battery Gregg were spiked. My chief exertion was to save my men, whose future services will, I trust, be worth much more to the Confederacy than what I failed to destroy to the enemy. Had instructions been sent to me earlier, more might have been done. Lieutenant Stiles, Assistant Engineer, stationed at Battery Gregg, at my request had come up to Battery Wagner in the morning. Upon examination, he expressed to me a doubt whether there was powder enough in the magazine to blow it up. I should state at this point, that I had sent, on Friday, for an additional supply of powder, sending the requisition and my report as to the state of the garrison, and of the day preceding, by Major Warley, Chief of Artillery, who was wounded, and, returning to the city in a small boat, sent for the purpose. This boat was captured by the enemy's barges, and my report either taken or destroyed by Major Warley. Of this capture I had no knowledge until Saturday night. The blowing up of the magazines was intrusted by me to brave and intelligent officers, who, I think, did their best to effect it. The Chief Ordnance Officer of the district
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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