Sullivan's Island batteries, besides Fort Gregg, on the northerly extremity of Morris Island
, which mounted three guns.
Brig.-Gen. William B. Taliaferro
, an able officer, who had served with distinction under ‘Stonewall
, was in command of Morris Island
, for the Confederates
's garrison, on the 18th, consisted of the Thirtyfirst and Fifty-first North Carolina, the Charleston Battalion, two companies Sixty-third Georgia Heavy Artillery, and two companies First South Carolina Infantry, acting as artillery, and two guns each of the Palmetto
's Artillery,—a total force of seventeen hundred men. Such was the position, armament, and garrison of the strongest single earthwork known in the history of warfare.
About 10 A. M., on the 18th, five wooden gunboats joined the land batteries in shelling Wagner
, lying out of the enemy's range.
At about 12.30 P. M., five monitors and the ‘New Ironsides’ opened, and the land batteries increased their fire.
A deluge of shot was now poured into the work, driving the main portion of its garrison into the bombproofs, and throwing showers of sand from the slopes of Wagner
into the air but to fall back in place again.
The enemy's flag was twice shot away, and, until replaced, a battle-flag was planted with great gallantry by daring men. From Gregg
, and the James Island
and Sullivan's Island
batteries, the enemy returned the iron compliments; while for a time Wagner
's cannoneers ran out at intervals, and served a part of the guns, at great risk.
A fresh breeze blew that day; at times the sky was clear; the atmosphere, lightened by recent rains, resounded