This terrible fire which the regiment had just faced, probably caused the greatest number of casualties sustained by the Fifty-fourth in the assault; for nearer the work the men were somewhat sheltered by the high parapet.
Every flash showed the ground dotted with men of the regiment, killed or wounded.
Great holes, made by the huge shells of the navy or the land batteries, were pitfalls into which the men stumbled or fell.
led the regiment to the left toward the curtain of the work, thus passing the southeast bastion, and leaving it to the right hand.
From that salient no musketry fire came; and some Fifty-fourth men first entered it, not following the main body by reason of the darkness.
As the survivors drew near the work, they encountered the flanking fire delivered from guns in the southwest salient, and the howitzers outside the fort, which swept the trench, where further severe losses were sustained.
Nothing but the ditch now separated the stormers and the foe. Down into this they went, through the two or three feet of water therein, and mounted the slope beyond in the teeth of the enemy, some of whom, standing on the crest, fired down on them with depressed pieces.
Both flags were planted on the parapet, the national flag carried there and gallantly maintained by the brave Sergt. William H. Carney
of Company C.
In the pathway from the defile to the fort many brave men had fallen.
was severely wounded in the groin, Captain Willard
in the leg, Adjutant James
in the ankle and side, Lieutenant Homans
in the shoulder.
were also wounded.
had led his regiment from first to last.
Gaining the rampart, he stood there for a moment