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[554] in case of such an exigency. See paper marked “F.”

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

Instructions in reference to evacuation of batteries Wagner and Gregg.


headquarters First Military District, Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, Charleston, S. C., September 5, 1863.
Commanding Officer Battery Wagner:
Sir: As it is within the contingencies that Batteries Wagner and Gregg may be evacuated, I wish the engineer and artillery officers to be fully prepared. A quantity of safety-fuse has been sent down, at different times, to both Batteries Wagner and Gregg. This will at once be examined and kept in place for service. All magazines will be prepared for explosion, before the final evacuation takes place, by causing safety-fuses, at least three in number, to be inserted in a file of cartridges or a barrel of powder in each magazine, to be carefully trained so that ignition be not premature, and of the length to insure time for leaving with the rear guard. The fuse burns fifteen seconds to the foot, so that if ten minutes is required, the length of the fuse should be forty feet, or more in proportion.

The Engineer Officer, or some careful person, should be provided with matches and linstock, and, at a signal from the commanding officer, should light carefully, and without undue haste, each safety-fuse, and report.

The Artillery Officer should destroy the implements of each gun which is not firing, and should spike securely all the guns of smaller calibre, destroy the elevating screws, and render the carriages unserviceable. It will be well to ram a shot or shell down without cartridge, first inserting a small wedge of wood, to cause the ball to stick in its position.

The ten-inch columbiads, if not removed, must be destroyed. They must be burst, if possible. It is intended to send down a few two-hundred-and-ten-pound bolts, with Tennessee caps. If these come, put in two cartridges, with two bolts, prime with powder, and lash a small cartridge over the vent, with a slow match inserted. Let the matches be fired at the same time with the magazines. It will be well to cut through the braces of the carriage, and put all the eccentric wheels in gear. If the bolts do not come, put in two cartridges, two solid shot, another cartridge, and then fill the gun up to the muzzle, priming and arranging the safety-fuses as before.

Other instructions will be given with regard to the evacuation, as far as the troops are concerned; but should it take place, as these arrangements will depend on circumstances-and the circumstances and the destruction of armament, &c., will require consideration and especially coolness on the part of the artillery and engineer officers — it has been thought proper to send these instructions now. You will please communicate them to the artillery and engineer officers of the command, and furnish them with the copies inclosed, in strict confidence. They must be turned over to their successors, as will be the case with this paper to the officer who relieves you. Should Battery Gregg be evacuated, the same arrangements will be made for the demolition of magazines and armament; but, of course, at that point it will not take place until the last moment, according to instructions from these or Department headquarters.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

R. S. Ripley, Brigadier-General, commanding.
Official: Wm. F. Nance, A. A. G.
Official: E. Kearny, A. A. A. G.

Telegrams giving effective force at Wagner--State of Affairs at that work, etc.

I. By signal, received at 12:45 A. M., September
sixth, 1863.

Morris Island, September 5, 1863.
Captain Nance, A. A. G.:
I had nine hundred, and not fourteen hundred men. About one hundred of these to-day were killed and wounded. The parapet of salient is badly breached. The whole fort is much weakened. A repetition to-morrow of to-day's fire will make the fort almost a ruin. The mortar fire is still very heavy and fatal, and no important work can be done. Is it desirable to sacrifice the garrison? To continue to hold it is to do so. Captain Lee, the engineer, has read this and agrees. Act promptly and answer at once.

L. M. Keitt, Colonel, commanding.
The above was received by me at 1.30 A. M., September sixth.

G. T. B.

For answer of General commanding see No. 4.

II. By signal from Morris Island.

8.45 A. M., September 6th.
Captain Nance, A. A. G.:
Incessant fire from Yankee mortar and Parrott battery. Can't work negroes — better look after them promptly. Had thirty or forty soldiers wounded in an attempt to work. Will do all I can, but fear the garrison will be destroyed without injuring the enemy. The fleet is opening, but I hope that we may stand till to-night.

III. By signal from Morris Island.

10.30 A. M., September 6th.
Captain Nance, A. A. G.:
Boats must be at Cummins' Point early to-night, without fail.

Colonel Keitt.
Official: E. Kearny, A. A. A. G

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