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[551] came to Morris Island, apparently to look after this, and was given every facility he asked for. I did not attempt to destroy the bomb-proof at Wagner, because, after consulting with Captain Lee, of the engineers, I deemed it impracticable, from the small quantity of combustible material at my disposal, and that any smoke would at once inform the enemy, and stimulate him to pursue us by land and water. It must be remembered that the sand above the bomb-proof was considerably saturated with water, which dripped through in several places.

To Captain Huguenin, Chief of Artillery, Major Bryan, A. A. G., Lieutenant-Colonel Pressly, commanding Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers, and Lieutenant-Colonel Dantzler, superintending embarkation, I am chiefly indebted for the success of the evacuation.

My thanks are due to Mr. J. F. Mathews, engineer corps, for the use of his boat and crew, for moving troops, and bringing me off at the last.

Captain Hayne, and Lieutenants Montgomery and Blum, of the Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers (three valuable officers), were killed at their posts of duty, during the last of the siege. Let their names be honored.

I desire to record the faithful services of privates Laith, and Stewart, and Bond, of the Gist Guard, South Carolina volunteers, who have remained voluntarily on duty at Battery Wagner almost the entire siege, always attentive and cool under fire. Stewart would make an excellent commissary, and Laith, a practical and hard-working ordnance officer.

Lieutenant R. M. Stiles, engineer corps, creditably performed the duties assigned to him.

Lieutenant Miller, Company A, Second South Carolina artillery, was distinguished for his courage, and for his cheerfulness, which was not diminished by a slight wound on the knee, and by being stunned for half an hour.

To Major Bryan, of General Beauregard's staff, who volunteered as my Adjutant-General, I am under the greatest obligations. Although, at the time I was ordered to Morris Island to assume command of the forces there, he had a furlough to visit his father in Georgia, who was very ill, he promptly waved it, and volunteered to go with me. His tact, coolness, experience, courage and untiring industry, were of the greatest service to me. During the night and the day, his vigilance extended to every department, and perpetually sought out means of increasing our resources and defences.

In spite of severe indisposition, for several days, I have made every exertion to meet the very unusual responsibities imposed upon me.

Taking all circumstances into consideration, I trust that this will not compare unfavorably on the part of the garrison with any other retreat made during this war.

I am, sir, very respectfully.

Your obedient servant,

L. M. Keitt, Colonel, commanding,
Official: W. Gordon McCabe.


headquarters Department South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, Charleston, S. C., Sept. 19, 1863.
Had the evacuation been conducted in strict compliance with detailed orders, it would be one of the most memorable in history, and hereafter it may be regarded as a signal success, and highly creditable to the commanding officer and all officers and men who participated in it. Subjected to a terrible fire, and beleaguered almost to the very ditch of the work, by an enterprising, watchful adversary, yet the entire garrison was withdrawn in safety. The coolness and discipline which characterized this operation, and through which an efficient command has been saved to the country for future use, are deemed worthy of note and commendation by the War Department, especially when taken in connection with their stout defence of Morris Island, for four days preceding the evacuation, together with the limited and imperfect means of water transportation at command. One of the reasons assigned for not bursting the guns, blowing up the magazines and bomb-proofs in Batteries Wagner and Gregg, is an alleged want of time, after the order to evacuate had reached Morris Island. This calls for remarks from these headquarters. It had been a standing order for several weeks previous to the evacuation, that in such an event, all guns, magazines, bomb-proofs, &c., should be thoroughly destroyed, and, with that view, time fuses had been tested, and with “rat-tail” files were provided for both works. Further, the written special instructions of Brigadier-General Ripley, prescribing measures and means for the complete destruction of these works, and of their armaments, at the proper time, and the detailed orders directing and regulating the evacuation of Morris Island, were received by the commanding officer at dark, on the sixth instant (about six P. M.). The last detachment of his command did not quit the island until after one A. M., on the seventh instant; hence there were seven hours for the completion of all necessary arrangements. I am, therefore, unable to admit that there was any lack of time for the thorough execution of the work of destruction ordered. It is not explained why the time-fuses failed to explode the powder left in the magazines; they were seen burning brightly when last observed, and it is therefore probable that either before,. or whilst the fire was being applied, the ends in contact with the powder were accidentally detached.

G. T. Beauregard. General, commanding.

Papers relating to the evacuation of Morris Island--Lieutenant Colonel D. B. Harris recommends evacuation of Morris Island batteries.

office of Chief Engineer, Charleston, South Carolina, August 6, 1863.
Brigadier-General Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff:
General: I have the honor to report that I

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